Navidea scores $1.8M in NIH grant for Kaposi's sarcoma research

Kaposi's sarcoma
Micrograph of Kaposi's sarcoma CC BY-SA 3.0

Navidea Biopharmaceuticals ($NAVB), which focuses on precision diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals, said it has been tapped to get a $1.8 million fast-track research grant from the NIH’s National Cancer Institute fund to evaluate the company’s investigational treatment for Kaposi's sarcoma (KS).

Navidea’s Manocept-based immunotargeted treatment for the cancer that attacks the lymph or blood vessels is designed to specifically deliver doxorubicin, a chemotoxin that can kill KS tumor cells and tumor-associated macrophages. 

The cancer is serious and potentially life-threatening for people infected with HIV, and is the third leading cause of death in the global HIV population, the company said.

“We anticipate if trials are successful, we can bring an effective and life-sparing new therapy to Kaposi's Sarcoma patients who are in desperate need for such a new treatment,” Frederick Cope, SVP and chief scientific officer of Navidea, said in a statement.

Funds for the grant will be released in three parts that will total $1.8 million over two and a half years. The first part of the grant will be a disbursement of $232,000 to support analyses including in vitro and cell culture studies.

The company recently reported a first-quarter loss of $3.7 million, which amounted to a loss of 2 cents a share, beating analyst estimates of a loss of 3 cents a share. The Dublin, OH-based company said it posted revenue of $4.7 million for the quarter and forecast full-year revenue in the range of $23 million to $25 million.

- here’s the release