Precision-medicine company Solu Therapeutics has raised $31m in seed financing to develop the Cytotoxicity Targeting Chimera (CyTaC) platform and drug candidates.
Co-led by Santé Ventures and Longwood, the financing round has seen participation from Alexandria Venture Investments, Astellas Venture Management, and DCVC Bio.
Solu Therapeutics’ CyTaC platform has been designed for discovering antibody-intractable cell surface targets and for developing next-generation medicines.
Depleting pathogenic immune cells, unlocking new tumour-associated antigens for eliminating cancer cells, and extending the half-life of small molecule antagonists and agonists are the characteristics of the CyTaC platform molecules.
Solu Therapeutics also intends to use the funds for developing the drug candidates that were in-licensed from GSK, which received equity in Solu Therapeutics, in return for the license.
GSK will also be entitled for milestones as well as royalties on products that are derived from the CyTaC platform.
Solu Therapeutics co-founder and CEO David Donabedian said: “We are using the CyTaC platform to develop bifunctional small molecules with one arm binding the extracellular target and the other arm binding a proprietary antibody that can recruit the immune system to kill cancer and other pathogenic cells.
“The innovative platform and drug candidates were licensed from GSK and have potential applications across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, immunology, and autoimmunity.
“With the capital from this financing, we plan to advance our lead programme in oncology into the clinic within two years and advance several of our other product candidates through pre-clinical development.”
The company stated that its founding executive chairman and Longwood Fund founding partner Christoph Westphal; Santé Ventures partner Omar Khalil; DCVC Bio managing director John Hamer; Satoshi Konagai, Astellas Venture Management; and Peter Hutt have joined the Board of Directors of Solu Therapeutics as part of the financing round.