SA cancer research group expanding to Austin, Europe

Next Oncology is advancing plans to expand its clinical trials facilities footprint nationally and internationally despite a global health crisis impacting that timeline.

The San Antonio-based cancer research company has recently opened the first such facility outside of its headquarters home and already has other centers in various stages of development.

“The next 12 months are going to be absolutely amazing for our organization,” said Dr. Anthony Tolcher, an internationally renowned cancer researcher who launched Next Oncology in 2018 after co-founding South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics several years prior.

Already, that site has secured well over a dozen studies. The goal is to grow that site’s work to about 80 studies over the next couple of years.

Tolcher said the Austin site will serve a fast-growing area and provide relief for patients who were having to make the drive to San Antonio.

Next Oncology also plans to have a presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by next year. “We’ve begun the process to build that site up,” Tolcher said, noting that the company has also inked an agreement to expand to Virginia.

The Alamo City company’s expansion plan isn’t tied exclusively to the U.S. Next Oncology is also developing sites in Barcelona and Madrid set to open this fall.

Covid-19 has had an impact on the company. Next Oncology sent all of its non-clinical staff to work from home during the height of the pandemic last year yet continued to see patients.

The coronavirus also impacted the expansion timeline. “We would have gotten a lot of this accomplished more than a year ago, if we hadn’t been sidelined like everybody else,” Tolcher said.