Wherever there has been a stage for biotech entrepreneurs this fall, Laura Indolfi has appeared. And wherever she is, major pharmaceutical companies have been, too.
Indolfi’s company, Cambridge, Mass.-based PanTher Therapeutics, has already received awards linked to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson. And on Tuesday, she competed for — and won — one of Amgen’s Golden Tickets — a one-year pass into LabCentral, the noted Cambridge lab-sharing space where PanTher is already headquartered.
The technology winning those awards seems simple — but it isn’t. PanTher is developing a surgically implanted patch designed to deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to a tumor. The patch has two layers. One layer is saturated with an already approved drug, while another layer — a “backbone” — acts as a barrier to prevent the drug or other tumor cells from straying. “The more obvious thing is the money,” Indolfi said, “but having the validation and the approval from the companies that actually developed the drugs [our company uses], it’s a big deal for us.”