One Nucleus – Case Study
Artios Pharma (Artios) – continuing Cambridge’s tradition as a centre of excellence for DNA Damage Response with leading next generation programmes.
Since its foundation in 2016, Cambridge based Artios Pharma has grown into a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company with an exciting pipeline of programmes , a world class R&D team with a strong track record in translating DDR and other oncology projects from research to the clinic, and an enviable cash position following two successful fundraises from high calibre investors, most recently a Series B round in August 2018 raising $84 million from both financial and corporate venture investors.
DDR is fundamental to cancer cell survival and the company’s goal is to exploit this “Achilles’ heel” to deliver medicines with the potential to change the clinical treatment paradigm in oncology.
DDR – an exciting Nobel-prize winning field of biology.
DDR is already starting, to line up alongside other exciting advances in cancer treatment particularly the immune oncology therapies. As cancer is a very adaptive disease, eventually developing resistance to many of the drugs developed, new cancer therapies and combinations of therapies tailored to each patient’s cancer will be required. DDR approaches, exemplified by Artios’ lead polymerase theta (Polθ) programme, can kill cancer cells selectively, overcoming such drug resistance. It may also address progression of multiple cancer types by selectively enhancing tumour sensitivity to radiation therapy and chemotherapies, enabling clinical benefits in terms of efficacy, side effects and duration of treatment.
The DDR field has been clinically validated by the success of PARP inhibitors, currently becoming a multi-billion-dollar drug class in a range of cancers. Key Artios executives played an integral role in the discovery and development of LynparzaÒ (olaparib), the first PARP inhibitor to market, when at Kudos Pharmaceuticals and later AstraZeneca. Artios is now a leader in next generation DDR, developing a pipeline of three highly promising new DDR therapies, led by PolƟ which is attracting industry attention.