CerFlux Awarded $275,000 Grant from the National Science Foundation to Advance Cancer Research
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., (Aug 3, 2023) – CerFlux, Inc., creators of advanced personalized medicine technology for cancer treatment, announced today that it has been awarded a $275,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This highly competitive grant will support the development of our innovative ChipMux technology, aimed at revolutionizing the approach to cancer treatment.
Every year, over 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer. Worse, treatment turns out to be ineffective for approximately 75% of solid tumor patients who receive systemic therapy. This is because every tumor is distinct in makeup and response to treatment. Unfortunately, a generalized treatment approach is forced upon a disease that is uniquely personal due to lack of personalized predictive tools. Consequently, patients are exposed to several rounds of potentially harmful overtreatment until the right regimen is found, imposing a substantial physical, emotional, and financial burden. Adding insult to injury, over 40% of patients deplete their entire life savings in just 2 years.
CerFlux ChipMux technology addresses this critical, urgent, and unmet need for accessible and affordable predictive technologies that identify optimal therapy regimens and strategically eliminate ineffective options. This project represents a major departure from the generalized one-size-fits-none approach to cancer treatment. If successful, our patented biopsy chip multiplexer technology will screen multiple anticancer regimens simultaneously on intact core biopsy tissue from each patient’s own tumor – before treatment – to identify the right treatment for that patient. The ultimate aim of this groundbreaking technology is to eliminate ineffective treatment regimens and identify the most effective regimens for each patient on an individualized basis.
“During this SBIR Phase I project, we will address several key objectives from bioprinting 3D tumor proxies to demonstrating the predictive capacity of this platform for personalized cancer treatment,” explains Dr. Karim Budhwani, CEO of CerFlux, Inc. “If successful, this personalized approach will not only reduce the cost of cancer treatment but, more importantly, it will substantially lighten the emotional, physical, and financial burden suffered by patients.”
This endeavor is further enhanced by a commercial-academic collaboration between CerFlux, Inc. and the James Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Ohio State University. Dr. Alex Kim, an assistant professor of surgical oncology, specializing in HIPEC and PI of Tumor Biorepository at OSU, adds, "For patients with advanced or metastatic cancer, team efforts of multidisciplinary care and multimodal therapies provide the most optimal outcomes. The collaborative efforts of our research and clinical teams at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and the James Cancer Hospital with CerFlux, Inc. and their innovative ChipMux platform will bring precision-based cancer care to our patients with advanced cancer, while upholding our philosophy that “there is no routine cancer.”
In an era where precision and personalization are becoming increasingly vital in medicine, ChipMux technology holds the promise to set a new standard in cancer treatment: The right treatment at the right time for each patient on an individualized basis. Predictive technologies like ChipMux – that match each patient with the right treatment regimen BEFORE treatment is administered – will make a profound impact on the lives of cancer patients, offer substantial cost savings to insurance providers, and strengthen US leadership in advanced research.
The NSF's SBIR program focuses on transforming scientific discovery into both social and economic benefit. The receipt of this grant highlights the potential impact of ChipMux on improving cancer treatment and patient outcomes. The grant will fund research and development activities over the next year, bringing us a step closer to making personalized cancer treatment a reality for patients around the world.
About CerFlux, Inc.
CerFlux, Inc. is a Birmingham (Alabama) based cancer biotech company. CerFlux is creating advanced, personalized medicine solutions, including its patented ChipMux® biopsy-on-a-chip for simultaneously testing multiple anticancer agents directly on standard-of-care tumor biopsy tissue. Our goal is to apply this biopsy-on-a-chip technology across the cancer care continuum; from improving AI in cancer drug response prediction with PROPHET, predicting clinical efficacy for preclinical compounds with PEER® to improving clinical trials with POETRY and identifying the most effective cancer treatments for each patient on an individualized basis with POET®. By building solutions that quickly and clearly separate optimal from ineffective options, we will improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients.
About The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
The OSUCCC – James strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care — a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of 51 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only a few centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs sponsored by the NCI. As the cancer program’s 356-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet® designation, the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice. With 21 floors and more than 1.1 million square feet, The James is a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care.
About the NSF SBIR Program
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that provides funding to small businesses to conduct research and development in areas of high national priority. The SBIR program is designed to help small businesses compete for federal research and development contracts and to foster the development of new technologies and products that can benefit the nation.
To request collateral materials for publication or to schedule interviews with principals from CerFlux, Inc., please contact Rachel Stacey at rss@CerFlux.com for availability.