Monopar and NorthStar join forces to develop radio-immuno-therapeutics (RITs) targeting severe COVID-19

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Monopar and NorthStar join forces to develop radio-immuno-therapeutics (RITs) targeting severe COVID-19

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | June 16, 2020 Molecular Imaging

“To help mitigate the cytokine storm and reduce deaths associated with COVID-19, our goal is to develop an RIT that selectively eliminates the rogue aberrantly activated immune cells that produce these cytokines,” said Andrew Mazar, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Monopar. “uPAR is selectively expressed on these rogue immune cells but not on healthy cells. An antibody carrying a therapeutic radioisotope could gain entry into these cells through uPAR and deliver its cytotoxic payload to kill these cells while sparing normal tissue.”

“NorthStar will apply its expertise to identify and supply the optimal therapeutic radioisotope to couple with Monopar’s uPAR monoclonal antibodies,” said James T. Harvey, PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer of NorthStar. “We will deploy the most appropriate development approaches and production technology to ensure that both development and, if successful, commercial-scale volumes of this radioisotope can be supplied in order to meet potential demand.”

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This targeted therapeutic approach to treating severe COVID-19 is supported by a recently published study (Rovina et al. 2020) demonstrating that soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR), which is shed by aberrantly activated immune cells that make uPAR, is an early predictor of severe respiratory failure in COVID-19 and its presence increases as patients develop severe COVID-19.

About Monopar Therapeutics Inc. (Monopar)
Monopar Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing proprietary therapeutics designed to extend life or improve the quality of life for cancer patients. Monopar's pipeline consists of Validive® for the prevention of chemoradiotherapy-induced severe oral mucositis in oropharyngeal cancer patients; camsirubicin for the treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma; and a late-stage preclinical antibody MNPR-101. For more information, visit:

About NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC (NorthStar)
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes is a global innovator in the production and distribution of radioisotopes used for medical imaging and therapeutic purposes. NorthStar is a company committed to providing the United States with reliable and environmentally friendly radioisotope supply solutions to meet the needs of patients and to advance clinical research. The Company’s first product is the RadioGenix® System (technetium Tc 99m generator), an innovative and flexible platform technology initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 2018. For more information, visit:

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