Israeli startup Alpha TAU Medical, which uses Alpha ray technology to kill solid cancer tumors from within, has announced that the company secured a $26 million Series B investment led by existing investors, Shavit Capital, OurCrowd, and Madison Ventures alongside new investors from Israel and North America.
First clinical trial down, with more on the way
Alpha TAU Medical’s innovative tech uses Alpha DaRT (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Therapy) to insert the Alpha DaRT seeds directly into the tumor, releasing a small amount of radioactive substance, called Radium-224, over a range of a few millimeters, without contaminating the surrounding tissue, allowing for secure treatment of the tumor itself. Radium-224’s short half-life, about 3.7 days, allows for a quick and minimally invasive treatment that kills the tumor from within.
Over the last year, Alpha TAU Medical has completed a series of clinical trials in people in Israel and Italy using Alpha DaRT technology to treat Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Additionally, the company is performing further clinical trials in other places around the world, including its first trial in a U.S. medical center as well as a center specializing in pancreatic cancer, in Montreal.
Alpha TAU was founded back in 2016 by two Tel Aviv University professors, CBO Prof. Yona Keisar and CPO Prof. Itzhak Kelson, who both invented the company’s DaRT technology in 2003. The company has raised $55 million up to date, noting, that the funds will go towards building production centers in Israel and abroad, as well as towards receiving a CE quality standard stamp on the company’s technology, attesting compatibility to market in EU countries. Alpha TAU CEO, Uzi Sofer responded to the recent funding series, saying: “The funds will assist us in our mission to help cancer patients around the world, even in these challenging times, when the medical focus is mostly on the COVID-19 virus.”
In other Israeli MedTech news: Curesponse raises $6M
Alpha TAU isn’t the only Israeli biotech company raising funds these days. Curesponse, which has developed a 3-dimensional tissue culture system for modeling cancer growth and drug response, has raised $6 million from Marius Nacht’s fund aMoon and from British NCL Technology Ventures. Curesponse has the ability to create tumors for Pharma companies that want to test treatments on specific kinds of tumors. The company was founded in 2017 by CEO Guy Neev, Dr. Seth Salpeter, Dr. Ravid Straussman, and Dr. Nancy Gavert.