UPMC launches drug discovery company for cancer treatments

Pittsburgh-based UPMC on Aug. 23 launched Novasenta, a drug discovery and development company seeking new cancer treatments.

To develop immunotherapies, Novasenta focuses on the ecosystem that surrounds and interacts with tumors in the body. It is currently working with T-cell targets and has a goal to launch its first clinical trial by the end of 2023.

Veteran biotechnology leader Mani Mohindru, PhD, will serve as Novasenta's CEO.

"Novasenta has the ability to analyze the tumor microenvironment of a wide variety of cancers due to our strong research and clinical relationships with Pitt and UPMC," Dr. Mohindru said in a statement. "This allows us to capitalize on the critical relationship between disease, immune response and metabolism when assessing the tumor microenvironment for the discovery of novel druggable targets, which will help us develop treatments that benefit patients with cancer."

UPMC invested in Novasenta through its venture capital arm in a $20 million funding round. 

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