Atlanta cancer-fighting biotech company Metaclipse wins grant

Metaclipse Therapeutics, an early-stage Atlanta biotechnology company that is developing personalized cancer therapies, has been awarded $100,000 in seed financing by the Georgia Research Alliance.

The funding, which comes on top of an earlier $50,000 grant the company received from the alliance through its VentureLab at Emory University, will allow Metaclipse to continue development of its anti-cancer products.

Shaker Reddy, the president and chief operating officer of Metaclipse, said the company's technology is designed to activate the body's immune system to attack and destroy metastatic cancer cells.

Metaclipse grew out of research conducted by its scientific founder, professor Periasamy Selvaraj, at Emory. Metaclipse has an agreement with Emory for the product rights to the technology.

The company, which was launched in 2011 and is moving into new headquarters and lab space in Atlanta, now hopes to raise $500,000 to $2.5 million from investors to finance future operations. The money will help the company as it continues to test its technology over the next few years.

Early-stage biotechnology firms such as Metaclipse tend to be high-risk, high-reward ventures. The technologies they develop might not prove effective, and anticipated products might never reach the market.

Lee Herron, the Georgia Research Alliance's vice president for commercialization, said, "Metaclipse is taking a novel approach to the treatment of cancer." He said the company's technology has shown effectiveness in animal models, and that while "the road from demonstration of effectiveness in animals to an FDA-approved therapeutic is challenging ... the company's experienced management has demonstrated that they are up to the task."