Apollo Endosurgery announced today that the Company received notice of a $5 million award from the State of Texas through the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas CPRIT). Apollo was one of only three companies recommended for the inaugural commercialization awards. CPRIT was established to expedite innovation and commercialization in the area of cancer research and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs and services throughout the State.
Acceptance of the award is subject to the completion of final due diligence and contract negotiations. The CPRIT award will fund the commercialization of Apollo's SuMOT System comprised of flexible surgery evices focused on cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. These cancers represent the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States.
SuMO, which stands for Sub-Mucosal Operation, was developed through a partnership between Apollo Endosurgery and the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of Texas Medical Branch.
The SuMO system utilizes a standard flexible endoscope to deliver specialized surgical tools to suspected lesions in the gastrointestinal tract via natural orifices, avoiding the trauma and pain associated with standard surgery. In preclinical proof-of-concept studies, gastrointestinal tissue up to seven cm in diameter has been removed en bloc endoscopically.
“This CPRIT award speaks to the exciting potential of Apollo's flexible surgical tools to significantly improve therapy for cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. More importantly, the CPRIT funding will enable this exciting technology to move from the research lab to the bedside, to the benefit of Texans and patients worldwide,” stated Dennis McWilliams, CEO and President of Apollo Endosurgery.
Christopher J. Gostout, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester adds, “SuMO represents a huge leap in therapeutic options for cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. The ability to easily remove neoplasms endoscopically will significantly improve the treatment options for these patients.”