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Viewpoint Molecular Targeting Awarded $5 Million in Phase II SBIR Grants

Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, a radiopharmaceutical company based in Coralville, has been awarded a total of $5 million in Phase II grants from the National Cancer Institute under the SBIR program and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The grants will be used to advance the company’s proprietary image-guided radiotherapies in development to optimize treatment that could potentially improve the effectiveness associated with many other cancer drugs.

“As we work to advance our cutting-edge oncology therapeutics and complementary diagnostic imaging agents, securing non-dilutive funding remains a key component of our overall strategy. These grants from the National Cancer Institute provide capital to further advance our two lead programs, VMT01 and VMT-𝛼-NET, allowing us to move into the clinic as quickly as possible. These grants also enable the acceleration of our therapeutic radioisotope production technologies. In this way, we’ll advance our goal of becoming a fully integrated alpha-therapy company,” said Frances Johnson, Chief Medical Officer and Acting CEO of Viewpoint.

The company plans to initiate its VMT01 and VMT-𝛼-NET programs into Phase 1 imaging studies in the first half of 2021, followed by therapy trials for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and neuroendocrine tumors at two leading academic institutions.

News of the grants comes one week after the company closed its third and final tranche of Series A financing for a total of $13 million.

Previous coverage

Viewpoint Molecular Targeting closes Series A round at $13 Million -Jan. 11, 2021

Viewpoint Molecular Targeting Awarded $5 Million in Phase II SBIR Grants | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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