PLYMOUTH (WWJ) — The cancer drug developer ProNAi Therapeutics Inc. Monday announced the closing of a Series C preferred financing round of more than $12 million with existing and new investors.

The company said the financing reflects “the impressive clinical progress of the company over the past three years.

The company said the financing is the “first of several planned financing activities for 2014.”

ProNAi’s flagship drug, called PNT2258, recently went through a peer-reviewed Phase I clinical study, and Phase II proof-of-efficacy studies recently were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in December.

ProNAI says PNT2258 uses a proprietary DNA interference technology to block a key oncogene, BCL2, that then signals cancer cells to die.

“This funding allows us to expand our current Phase II studies of PNT2258 as a single agent to those patients with refractory or relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma,” said Mina Sooch, CEO of ProNAi. “We plan to continue successfully executing a capital efficient strategy in the clinic with single agent trials in the near term and front-line combination studies later in the year. We are thrilled to further test PNT2258 in more cancer patients with high, unmet medical need.”

In the one month since ASH, Sanford C. Bernstein, a New York City research firm, issued a Best of ASH Report that included ProNAi being listed as “one of the emerging companies to watch.”

To date, treatment with PNT2258 has now resulted in three complete responses and one partial response in eight DLBCL and FL patients, with all the rest of these patients seeing some tumor shrinkage with disease stabilization.

“The ProNAi team has done a great job of advancing the technology and generating promising clinical data in patients that have failed all other standard of care therapies,” said Alvin Vitangcol, general partner at Wisconsin-based Capital Midwest Fund, which led the financing round. “With the favorable valuations and active partnering return in the nucleic acid  therapeutics space combined with a continued robust biotech IPO market (especially for oncology, clinical, and platform technologies), ProNAi is well poised for exploring various financing and strategic partnering options in 2014.”

ProNAi says PNT2258 has the potential to help treat more than 30 other cancer and non-cancer diseases. More at


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