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Joint venture start-up by Emory and U of Queensland raises $16M to treat hot flashes in breast cancer patients


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 14th, 2017

A start-up launched jointly by Emory University and the University of Queensland (UQ) has raised $16 million in Series A financing to commercialize its novel non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes in women undergoing endocrine therapy for breast cancer.

The startup QUE Oncology seeks to provide an alternative to drugs conventionally prescribed for women with breast cancer, which are designed to stop the spread of the disease by reducing or blocking estrogen. These treatments increase the likelihood and intensity of hot flashes.

“The affliction can become so debilitating that some cancer patients have reported that they’d rather discontinue taking their cancer drugs than suffer continued hot [flashes],” says Chris Nave, CEO of Australia’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MCRF), which led the $16M financing for QUE.

“We think that QUE’s Oncology’s novel approach has the potential to reduce these symptoms and substantially improve the quality of life for these women,” Nave adds.

The start-up plans to use the funds to launch a randomized, placebo-controlled Phase IIa clinical trial for the therapeutic known as Q-122. In its Phase Ib trial, QUE found that more than 85% of patients experienced a reduction in severe hot flashes.

Investors in the Series A financing round included MRCF, seed-stage venture fund Uniseed, UQ’s commercialization arm UniQuest, Emory University and Centrosome Ventures.

QUE founder Dennis Liotta comments, “We are grateful for the strong support of our new investors, who share our excitement for the potential of Q-122 to safely and effectively treat the hundreds of thousands of breast cancer survivors who suffer from hot [flashes] today.”

Source: GEN News

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