OncoSenX closes $3 million funding to accelerate the preclinical research of new class of cancer therapeutics
OncoSenX, a late preclinical-stage startup developing therapeutics to kill cancer cells based on their genetics, today announced it has raised $3 million in pre-seed funding to accelerate the preclinical research of new class of cancer therapeutics. Thus far, the preclinical studies of the company’s novel non-viral gene therapy for solid tumors show potential for improved tolerability and precision targeting.
Founded in 2018, the Seattle, Washington-based OncoSenX is working on the next generation in cancer therapies that will be more targeted with less side effects. OncoSenX targets solid tumors based on transcriptional activity using a unique lipid nanoparticle and plasmid DNA. The company’s technology platform targets solid tumors based on transcriptional activity using a unique lipid nanoparticle and plasmid DNA approach.
“These funds will allow us to accelerate the preclinical research necessary for us to begin phase 1 clinical development,” said Matthew Scholz, chief executive officer of OncoSenX. “We believe our non-viral gene therapy for solid tumors represents the first in a new class of cancer therapeutics. The OncoSenX team is diligently working to bring this new approach into the clinic for the benefit of a global oncology community clearly in need of new options.”
OncoSenX is developing a highly selective tumor-killing platform with two main components: a proprietary lipid nanoparticle (LNP) for cellular delivery and a highly selective DNA payload. The LNP is designed to deliver its non-integrating DNA payload to solid tumors, while an engineered promoter drives expression of a potent, inducible death protein only in the target cell population. The goal is to precisely target cell populations based on their genetic activity without harming nearby cells. The platform can be effectively programmed to implement logic gates (IF/OR/AND) to provide selectivity to any target cell based on its genetics.
“Our preclinical studies suggest the OncoSenX approach has the potential to precisely kill cancer cells based on the mutations they harbor,” said John Lewis, Ph.D., chief science officer of OncoSenX. “If substantiated in the clinic, the platform could deliver reduced toxicity and improved tolerability over conventional chemotherapy, with the potential for superior targeting over biologics or even CAR-T therapy.”
OncoSenX is currently preparing for its regulatory interactions and will then perform pivotal toxicology studies in anticipation of filing to begin human trials.