BioMed SA Unveils Strategic Plan for Bioscience and Healthcare Sectors

Iris Gonzalez, Startups San Antonio BioMed SA unveiled its detailed action plan to identify, develop ...

New BioMed SA plan eyes expanded company and talent recruitment

BioMed SA President Ann Stevens says a new bioscience industry action plan could lead open the door to ...


5th San Antonio Conference on Stem Cell Research & Regenerative Medicine

February 7-8, 2019 at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Keynote Lectures by: Dr. Shideng Bao, Cleveland ...
Evestra Snags DoD Grant For Experimental Breast Cancer Drug Research
February 22, 2018

By David Holley, Xconomy

San Antonio—A small Texas biotech that develops women’s health products, including a generic birth control ring, has received a $960,000 grant from the Department of Defense to continue early stage work on experimental treatments for triple-negative breast cancer.

Evestra, which is located just outside of San Antonio, in Schertz, TX, plans to use the three-year grant to study the toxicology and pharmacology of its potential candidates of antiprogestins, according to CEO Ze’ev Shaked. Antiprogestins play a role regulating hormones, and may stop cancer cell growth, according to the National Cancer Institute. The company will also work with Ratna Vadlamudi, a professor and researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, on animal studies of the therapeutics. Ratna is also receiving $761,298 in grant funding from the DoD for the work.

The antiprogestins are being studied as cytotoxic anti-tumor agents, and may have a range of cancer applications in addition to breast cancer, Evestra chief scientific officer Klaus Nickisch said in a news release. Evestra’s compounds take aim at a type of protein known as leukemia inhibitory factor, which can play a role in tumor cell growth; it appears the Evestra treatments may inhibit that, which Shaked says would be a new class of anti-cancer compounds.

“This was a highly unusual finding since this class of compounds (antiprogestins) do not exhibit such strong cytotoxic activity,” Shaked wrote in an e-mail.

Evestra is developing a variety of women’s healthcare products, including treatments for endometriosis and fibroids, which both affect the uterus, and a generic version of the NuvaRing birth control product, which Evestra hopes to bring to market in 2019 with the U.S. division of Mumbai, India-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.

Earlier this year, Budapest, Hungary pharmaceutical firm Gedeon Richter acquired an undisclosed equity stake in Evestra.

Stay informed. Subscribe to BioMed SA news alerts.