Dallas-Fort Worth Biotech OncoNano Medicine Adds National Public Health Leader to Board

The former Assistant Secretary of Health and Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service will help advance Onconano's mission to advance the identification and treatment of cancer.

Brett Giroir named to the board of Onconano

Southlake-based biotech OncoNano Medicine has appointed Brett Giroir, M.D., to its board of directors.

Dr. Giroir, who is a physician, scientist, and innovator, has a long career in improving public health and medicine.

That wealth of experience across clinical practice, public health, and entrepreneurial enterprises is key as the fast-growing biotech enters a pivotal stage for growth, OncoNano CEO Martin Driscoll said in a statement.

A pediatrician and former four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps., Dr. Giroir might be best known as the former White House COVID-19 “testing czar.”

A member of the White House task force that responded to COVID-19,  he previously served as the 16th Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Acting FDA Commissioner, and U.S. Representative to the executive board of the World Health Organization. 

Cancer-fighting tech and therapies

OncoNano is developing a new class of products that uses pH as a biomarker to detect metastatic cancer with “high specificity.” The company’s cancer-fighting tech “lights up” a tumor in imaging during real-time surgery. Its platform of product candidates aim to activate and guide the body’s immune system to target cancer. 

In October, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) converted $18.4 million in previous grant awards to an equity investment in OncoNano. The company, which launched in 2014, recently closed its Series B financing round with $68.4 million in total committed capital. 

Dr. Giroir looks forward to assisting in the development and commercialization of OncoNano’s technology, which he says is a novel platform with the “realistic potential to revolutionize targeting of tumors with anti-cancer therapies and cancer-imaging agents.” 

“I look forward to working with OncoNano’s outstanding team and world-renowned scientific founders to advance this broadly applicable anti-cancer technology for the benefit of patients with unmet medical needs,” he said in a statement.

Dr. Giroir—who is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Texas Health Science Center, where he served on the faculty for ten years—headlined the BioNTX IC3 life sciences summit this fall.

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Alex Edwards contributed to this report.

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