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Kuni Foundation Makes Direct Investment in Company to Advance New Cancer-Fighting Precision Therapy



Vancouver, Washington -- PDX Pharmaceuticals, a privately held company pioneering a new class of therapeutics based on co-delivery of siRNA and drugs on immuno-nanoparticles, received Series A investment from The Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation.

“We are very grateful for the investment by the Kuni Foundation, which will advance our first drug candidate for treatment of patients with HER2+ breast cancer, which accounts for nearly a fourth of invasive breast cancers,” said Wassana Yantasee, PhD, MBA, President and CEO, PDX Pharmaceuticals. “The Kuni Foundation has a strong history of supporting medical research for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and we look forward to working with them in an effort to substantially improve treatment for this aggressive cancer.”


Better Outcomes, Less Cost

PDX Pharmaceutical’s technology overcomes several key issues in the treatment of metastatic HER2+ breast cancer, creating the opportunity to improve outcomes and reduce costs.


This form of breast cancer has a poor prognosis despite a rigorous, multi-therapeutic approach. Currently, the first-line treatment utilizes two HER2-targeted therapies (trastuzumab and Pertuzumab) and one Taxane (paclitaxel or docetaxel). The drug combination requires more than four hours of infusion time, costs more than $250,000 per treatment, and has many severe side effects. In addition, patients often develop resistance within a year.


PDX Pharmaceutical is addressing these shortcomings by developing a single therapy that can replace the three-drug combination and is effective against resistant HER2+ breast cancer. In preclinical models, delivery of therapeutic siRNA against HER2, and Taxane with the HER2 targeted nanoparticle carrier, significantly impaired growth of resistant HER2+ breast cancer compared to the current regimen. Both siRNA and the targeting antibody are readily exchangeable on PDX Pharmaceutical’s nanoparticle platform, facilitating precision and personalized medicine. This proof-of-concept has been demonstrated in lung, colorectal, and triple negative breast cancer.


“We’re excited about the opportunity to support Wassana and her team on this groundbreaking approach to the treatment of cancer,” said X, Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation. “We share PDX Pharmaceuticals mission to improve outcomes while lowering the cost of therapy for cancer patients and we are honored to support this important work.”


About PDX Pharmaceuticals

PDX Pharmaceuticals is a privately held biotech company located in Portland, Oregon, which focuses on developing functionalized nanomaterials to address unmet clinical needs. PDX Pharmaceuticals is advancing a pipeline of nanomaterials as carriers for targeted delivery or co-delivery of therapeutics for the treatment of cancer (breast, lung, melanoma, and colorectal cancer). PDX Pharmaceuticals has raised more than X million dollars in funding through support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including NCI, NCATS, and NIDDK. The nanoparticle technology was jointly developed with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), funded by the Knight Cancer Institute (KCI) and charitable foundations (Prospect Creek, Gordon Moore, Hillcrest, Women’s Health Circle of Giving and the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation). For more information, please visit www.pdxpharm.com


About the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation:

Based in Vancouver, Washington, the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation funds cancer research and supports programs and initiatives that enhance the lives of adults with developmental disabilities, with an emphasis on housing. Learn more at www.kunifoundation.org or via Twitter at @KuniFoundation.

The content is solely the responsibility of PDX Pharmaceuticals and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

### on immuno-nanoparticles, received Series A investment from The Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation.


“We are very grateful for the investment by the Kuni Foundation, which will advance our first drug candidate for treatment of patients with HER2+ breast cancer, which accounts for nearly a fourth of invasive breast cancers,” said Wassana Yantasee, PhD, MBA, President and CEO, PDX Pharmaceuticals. “The Kuni Foundation has a strong history of supporting medical research for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and we look forward to working with them in an effort to substantially improve treatment for this aggressive cancer.”


Better Outcomes, Less Cost

PDX Pharmaceutical’s technology overcomes several key issues in the treatment of metastatic HER2+ breast cancer, creating the opportunity to improve outcomes and reduce costs.


This form of breast cancer has a poor prognosis despite a rigorous, multi-therapeutic approach. Currently, the first-line treatment utilizes two HER2-targeted therapies (trastuzumab and Pertuzumab) and one Taxane (paclitaxel or docetaxel). The drug combination requires more than four hours of infusion time, costs more than $250,000 per treatment, and has many severe side effects. In addition, patients often develop resistance within a year.


PDX Pharmaceutical is addressing these shortcomings by developing a single therapy that can replace the three-drug combination and is effective against resistant HER2+ breast cancer. In preclinical models, delivery of therapeutic siRNA against HER2, and Taxane with the HER2 targeted nanoparticle carrier, significantly impaired growth of resistant HER2+ breast cancer compared to the current regimen. Both siRNA and the targeting antibody are readily exchangeable on PDX Pharmaceutical’s nanoparticle platform, facilitating precision and personalized medicine. This proof-of-concept has been demonstrated in lung, colorectal, and triple negative breast cancer.


“We’re excited about the opportunity to support Wassana and her team on this groundbreaking approach to the treatment of cancer,” said X, Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation. “We share PDX Pharmaceuticals mission to improve outcomes while lowering the cost of therapy for cancer patients and we are honored to support this important work.”


About PDX Pharmaceuticals

PDX Pharmaceuticals is a privately held biotech company located in Portland, Oregon, which focuses on developing functionalized nanomaterials to address unmet clinical needs. PDX Pharmaceuticals is advancing a pipeline of nanomaterials as carriers for targeted delivery or co-delivery of therapeutics for the treatment of cancer (breast, lung, melanoma, and colorectal cancer). PDX Pharmaceuticals has raised more than X million dollars in funding through support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including NCI, NCATS, and NIDDK. The nanoparticle technology was jointly developed with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), funded by the Knight Cancer Institute (KCI) and charitable foundations (Prospect Creek, Gordon Moore, Hillcrest, Women’s Health Circle of Giving and the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation). For more information, please visit www.pdxpharm.com


About the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation:

Based in Vancouver, Washington, the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation funds cancer research and supports programs and initiatives that enhance the lives of adults with developmental disabilities, with an emphasis on housing. Learn more at www.kunifoundation.org or via Twitter at @KuniFoundation.


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