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LI cancer treatment firm gets $2 million in venture funding

DepYmed CEO Andreas Grill at the company's offices

DepYmed CEO Andreas Grill at the company's offices on Bioscience Park Drive in Farmingdale on on Dec. 23, 2015. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

DepYmed, a Long Island company developing a potential treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer, will receive $2 million in funding from TopSpin Partners.

The company, founded in 2014 as a joint venture between Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Manhattan-based Ohr Pharmaceutical Inc., is currently conducting a phase 1 clinical trial of the drug Trodusquemine at Northwell Health’s Monter Cancer Center in Lake Success.

Topspin Partners, a private equity firm founded on Long Island with offices in Roslyn Heights and Mamaroneck, is making a $1 million equity investment in the company now, and will offer the company an additional $1 million after it reaches development milestones.

“It validates our approach to treating cancer,” Andreas Grill, DepYmed president and CEO, said of the funding round. “It gives us the ability to really expand . . . into other areas of treatment.”

The drug, meant to inhibit an enzyme that controls growth and metabolism, appears to reduce the growth and spread of tumors. It is aimed at treating HER2-positive breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease.

The company is also in preclinical development of more powerful inhibitors to treat other illnesses, including metabolic diseases like diabetes.

Last year, DepYmed received $100,000 from Accelerate Long Island and the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund, making the recently announced funding the most money the pharma company has received to date.

“This will push us forward,” Grill said.

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