Solu Therapeutics – a precision-medicine company developing therapeutics to eliminate disease-driving cells – founded by Longwood Fund recently announced the closing of an oversubscribed $31 million seed financing co-led by Longwood and Santé Ventures, with additional participation from DCVC Bio, Astellas Venture Management, and Alexandria Venture Investments.
The funding will be used to utilize and develop the proprietary CyTaC (Cytotoxicity Targeting Chimera) platform and drug candidates, which were in-licensed from GSK by the company. This platform was designed to unlock antibody-intractable cell surface targets and build next-generation medicines that harness the power of biologics with the vast target binding space of small molecules.
As part of the funding round, Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Executive Chairman, Solu Therapeutics, and Founding Partner, Longwood Fund; Omar Khalil, Partner, Santé Ventures; John Hamer, Ph.D., Managing Director, DCVC Bio; Satoshi Konagai, Astellas Venture Management; and Peter Hutt have joined Solu Therapeutics’ Board of Directors. In return for the license, GSK received equity in Solu and will receive milestones and royalties on products derived from the CyTaC platform.
“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 program in oncology into the clinic within two years and advance several of our other product candidates through pre-clinical development.”
— David Donabedian, Ph.D., co-founder and start-up CEO
“Antibody therapeutics have had tremendous success across multiple disease areas, however, there is still tremendous untapped potential. We believe that the novel technology and world-class team recruited to build out Solu Therapeutics will unlock this potential to create a new generation of precision medicines.”
— Dr. Westphal
“I believe the CyTaC platform opens a vast array of opportunities by combining the pharmacology and efficacy of antibodies with the binding capacity and dose control of small molecules. We’re excited to partner with the Solu team as they develop new medicines for patients who otherwise have limited therapeutic options.”
— Omar Khalil