Kronos Bio Reels In $105M for Drugs That Hit “Undruggable” Targets

Kronos Bio公司获1.05亿美元A轮融资,针对致病蛋白开发小分子靶向药物

2019-07-19 14:05:00 Xconomy

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Kronos Bio has raised $105 million in financing to develop therapies intended to target disease-causing proteins that have so far eluded the best efforts of drug hunters. The Series A round of funding announced Thursday was led by Vida Ventures and Omega Funds. Drugs typically work by either binding to a target site on a molecule or blocking it. But San Mateo, CA-based Kronos notes that most of the currently available therapies address the minority of the proteins in the body—those that can be targeted by traditional small molecule drugs. Most of the body’s proteins are considered “undruggable” because they don’t have firm structures or known binding sites that a drug can hit. Kronos, which is led by CEO Norbert Bischofberger, the former chief scientific officer of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) says its technology screens chemical libraries against target proteins to identify small molecules that can hit molecular targets historically thought of as undruggable. The technology, called Small Molecule Microarray, is based on the research of MIT Professor Angela Koehler, the scientific founder of Kronos. The company says the technology can find drugs that work by a number of mechanisms, including by directly disrupting protein-protein interaction or protein-DNA interactions. The company says its drugs could also take an indirect approach to hitting to a disease-causing protein by targeting cofactors, which are the chemicals that assist enzymes. In a prepared statement, Bischofberger said the fresh capital will help Kronos advance development of two preclinical compounds that are based on the company’s technology. One of the two most advanced compounds listed on the Kronos website targets a cofactor related to the androgen receptor. Such cofactors have been studied as potential targets for prostate cancer drugs. The second of the most advanced Kronos compounds targets cyclin-dependent kinase 9, a protein that has been studied as a drug target for ovarian cancer. The company also plans to use the new cash to expand its headcount in Cambridge, MA, where it has a research site, and at its headquarters in San Mateo. Other investors in the Kronos financing included Nextech, GV, Perceptive Advisors, Invus, and Polaris Partners. The company said Bischofberger as well as members of the board of directors also invested. In conjunction with the financing, Nextech partner Jakob Loven is joining the Kronos board.
Kronos Bio 已经筹集了1.05亿美元的资金,用于开发治疗方法,目的是针对疾病引起的蛋白质,这些蛋白质迄今还没有得到药物猎人的最大努力。 周四宣布的第一轮融资由 Vida Ventures 和 Omega Funds 牵头。 药物通常通过与分子上的目标位点结合或阻断它来起作用。但是,位于加州圣马特奥的 Kronos 指出,目前可用的大多数疗法都针对人体内的少数蛋白质,这些蛋白质可以被传统的小分子药物所瞄准。人体的大多数蛋白质都被认为是“不可加固的”,因为它们没有药物能触及的牢固结构或已知的结合位点。 Kronos 公司由首席执行官 Norbert Bischafberger 领导,吉利德科学(Gilead Sciences)公司( NASDAQ : GILD )前首席科学官诺伯特·比肖夫伯格( Norbert Bischafberger )说,他们的技术通过筛选化学文库来识别小分子,这些小分子能够击中历史上被认为是不可攻克的分子目标。这项名为“小分子微阵列”的技术是基于麻省理工学院教授 AngelaKoehler 的研究,他是 Kronos 的科学创始人。该公司表示,该技术可以通过多种机制找到药物,包括直接破坏蛋白质与蛋白质的相互作用或蛋白质与 DNA 的相互作用。该公司表示,它的药物还可以采取间接的方法,通过定位辅助酶的化学物质——辅因子来攻击引起疾病的蛋白质。 Bischofberger 在一份准备好的声明中表示,新资本将帮助 Kronos 推进基于该公司技术的两个临床前化合物的开发。Kronos 网站上列出的两种最先进的化合物之一是一种与雄激素受体相关的辅因子。这些辅因子已被研究为前列腺癌药物的潜在靶点。第二个最先进的 Kronos 化合物的目标是依赖于周期的激酶9,这是一种蛋白质,已被研究作为卵巢癌的药物靶点。该公司还计划利用这笔新资金扩大其在马萨诸塞州坎布里奇的员工人数,该公司在那里有一个研究基地,并在圣马特奥的总部。 Kronos 融资的其他投资者包括 Nextech 、 GV 、 Perceptive Advisors 、 Invus 和 Polaris Partners 。该公司表示, Bischofberger 以及董事会成员也进行了投资。与融资相结合, Nextech 合伙人 JakobLowen 将加入 Kronos 董事会。

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