Newsletter - Issue no. 5
Dear Colleagues and Friends, These are challenging times for all of us. The world is staggering between grief and economic shocks created by the coronavirus. Nevertheless, our work has continued throughout the pandemic, as you will read below.
Even during the near-complete shutdown here in Israel, which has since abated, we were able to continue operating at full speed. Our staff was split into organic teams, to minimize the risk of infection, while continuously developing the Alpha DaRT and maintaining its supply.
During the last few months, we were able to treat several new patients in Israel and around the world. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our logistics department, we successfully carried out a number of radioactive deliveries to Japan, both for patients as well as for preclinical study, even as passenger flights continued to dwindle. And thanks to swift efforts by our clinical research and training departments, we completed virtual training for a new clinical trial site in Japan, at Tohoku University, which has already treated its first patient.
The battle against coronavirus emphasizes the urgent need for a cancer treatment that can be provided in a one-time outpatient setting and minimizes the risk to cancer patients of contracting infectious diseases. We are striving to bring the therapeutic power of Alpha DaRT to a larger circle of patients through our expanding clinical trial program.
We are very happy to announce three very exciting pieces of news that demonstrate how the Alpha DaRT continues to advance in the world of medicine, investment, and business. The Red Journal (one of the premier journals in radiation oncology published by ASTRO) came out with an editorial written by influential thought leaders applauding the results of the SCC trial of the Alpha DaRT in human patients, and what it means for the future of cancer treatment. Read the details below.
At the same time, we have completed a new round of funding, raising $26 million for further research and development of Alpha DaRT. These funds have come from some of our original investors as well as new ones who have joined the family. And importantly, the company has just signed a distribution agreement with Medison Canada, which will allow us to enter the important Canadian market, once Alpha DaRT receives regulatory approval.
We have started construction on a production facility and new company headquarters in Jerusalem, in the Har Hotzvim hi-tech industrial park. We also just received our first order of Thorium-228 from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US Department of Energy) for our new facility in Lawrence, Massachusetts. This will allow us to ramp up our capacity to produce Ra-224, just in time for the growth in our clinical trial program.
Regardless of the challenges that we are now facing and will face in the future, we continue to work hard to accomplish our mission - making the Alpha DaRT treatment available for millions of cancer patients all around the world. I hope that you will enjoy reading this newsletter, which provides more information on our operations over the last few months. Regards, Uzi Sofer CEO & Chairman
New round of funding just completed
Editorial in prestigious radiation oncology journal applauds Alpha DaRT technique and results of SCC trial
Exclusive Distribution Agreement with Medison Canada finalized
Dr. Robert Den: Alpha-emitting Radiation Therapy Could Create a Paradigm Shift in Cancer Treatment
Inspiring story of Lela, an Alpha DaRT patient
R & D
Patient recruitment has begun at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York
Patient recruitment commenced at CHUM (Montreal) for pancreatic cancer trial
New Alpha DaRT clinical trials being organized in Thailand and Israel
Radioactive manufacturing license and Thorium-228 received at Lawrence facility
Construction started on facility in Jerusalem
First employee hired for new subsidiary in Canada
MRI compatibility of DaRT seeds
Thank you for your continued support!
Successful new round of funding just announced
We are very happy to hear from CFO Raphi Levy that Alpha Tau has completed a Series B round of funding for $26 million. The funders in this round include a mix of existing investors (Shavit Capital, Medison Ventures, OurCrowd, among others) who are showing continued support, even during this time of financial instability in the global economy. New family office and high net-worth investors, primarily from North America and Israel, have also been added to the Alpha Tau investor group.
The money raised in this round will support the continuing clinical development of Alpha DaRT, the expansion of our global manufacturing facilities in Israel and Japan, and the initial steps we will be taking in preparation for commercialization.
A big thank you to all of our repeat and first-time investors! Read the full press release here
Editorial in prestigious radiation oncology journal applauds innovative Alpha DaRT technique and impressive results from the SCC trial
An editorial praising the innovative treatment approach taken with Alpha DaRT and its impressive results in the squamous cell carcinoma trial (Popovtzer, 2020), was just published in the International Journal of Radiation
Oncology, Biology, and Physics by Drs. Louis Harrison and George Yang. These eminent radiation oncologists are associated with one of the top cancer treatment centers in the US - the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.
The editorial was entitled, “A Hard Target Needs a Sharper DaRT,” and focuses on several impressive aspects of this clinical trial. The authors highlight how DaRT may fill an unmet need for less toxic radiation therapies for fragile patients with advanced or recurrent head & neck cancer. They also conclude that the SCC trial demonstrates the successful translation of preclinical results to tangible benefits in the clinic, and is an example of innovation in the field of radiation oncology. Read the entire editorial here.
The editorial was published in the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology. Dr. Harrison is a former president of the society, and considered to be one of the global leaders in the field of radiation oncology. This is, therefore, a great honor to our company, to the principal investigators in this trial, and to our research team for their innovative and inspiring work!