Mequon firm lands federal grant for cancer drug

ENDECE, a Mequon-based biopharmaceutical firm, was recently awarded a $244,479 federal grant for its cancer research as part of the federal government’s Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project.

The Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project tax credit is a $1 billion fund available to companies with 250 employees or fewer and covers up to 50 percent of qualified investments in projects aimed at creating new therapies, reducing long-term health care costs, or significantly advancing the goal of curing cancer within the next 30 years.

ENDECE is developing an anti-cancer drug called NDC-1308, which targets molecular bioswitches that control metabolic pathways within cells. Rather than focusing on a single target or mutation, ENDECE’s approach is to identify key genetic switches that prevent tumors from growing out of control. NDC-1308 shuts down a tumor’s ability to survive by switching tumor cells’ pathways from proliferation to death.

“We are pleased to receive this grant to further the development of our lead compound, NDC-1308,” said James Yarger, ENDECE’s founder and chief executive officer. “We believe that this grant is further validation that our research may provide valuable future therapies to meet unmet medical needs for those fighting cancer.”

ENDECE’s core business is the design of new chemical entities that control molecular switches, which impact cancer cell growth.

The company plans to introduce its lead candidate to clinical treatment next year. The company has filed multiple patents on its compounds.

ENDECE was founded in 2006 and has four full-time employees and one part-time employee. The company has raised more than $13 million from private investors.

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