Cancer Therapy Company Acquires Durham-Based Cereius

Cereius, Inc., a biotechnology company developing therapies to treat cancer that has spread to the brain, has been acquired by San Diego-based Solve Therapeutics, Inc. (SolveTx). Co-founded by Duke University professors Michael Zalutsky and Kimberly Lynn Blackwell, Cereius was a recipient of two North Carolina Biotechnology Center strategic loans totaling $750,000 to assist with the development of its targeted radio diagnostics and radio therapeutics for cancer patients.Cereius logo

Founded in 2017, the company spun out of Duke University and now conducts its research at BioLabs, the co-working space for life science startups in downtown Durham.

“With Solve Therapeutics' acquisition of Cereius, we are excited about the continued development of their next-generation radiotherapeutics that were funded in part through the NCBiotech loan program,” said Mike Carnes, NCBiotech’s senior director, investments. “We are also thrilled that SolveTX now has an operating presence at BioLabs NC Gradlab and will continue to grow its business in the state while making an impact on cancer therapy.”

SolveTx will invest in research facilities at BioLabs to build and support Cereius’ continued research and development efforts. Jeffrey Schaal, senior vice president of Theragnostics, has been working with Cereius and will lead the research and development team in Durham as a member of the SolveTx team.

Acquisition of Cereius strengthens development of cancer therapeutics

SolveTx develops novel antibody-based therapies targeting tumor-specific antigens. In a statement, the company said it will refine Cereius’ chemistry platform and continue to develop targeted radionuclide therapeutics. Solve Therapeutics logo

“Cereius technology has strong potential for expanding the utility of existing targeting antibodies and nanobodies,” SolveTx CEO Dave Johnson said in the statement.  These next-generation radiolabeling chemistries and technology offer the potential to develop whole-body contemporaneous imaging for patient selection in conjunction with the development of SolveTx targeted treatments and to provide value enhancement for partnering oncology companies seeking life-cycle product management opportunities.”

Mindy Hamlin, NCBiotech Writer
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