Innovation: A drug Design software company, spinoff from SilcsBio
Targeted Cancer(s): Leukemia and other cancers
Leadership: Ken Malone, CEO; W. Alex Meltzer, Ph.D., VP of Drug Development (Click here to view our team)
Stage of Business: $1.5 million new financing raised to advance drug development
For the past decade, many biotech and pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of SilcsBio’s computer aided drug design software (SILCS) to find hidden drug binding pockets and design best in class drugs. SILCS has the ability to find these pockets both near active sites and in allosteric regions. Yet, the software licensed is rarely used to its full potential by its users. Rasio Therapeutics, as the drug discovery spin-off of SilcsBio, is able to harness the FULL and MOST POWERFUL functionality of the software to design new cancer therapeutics.
Rasio Therapeutics is improving upon the proven business model of Nimbus Therapeutics, the drug discovery arm of Schrödinger. Nimbus, to date, has raised over $650M across multiple license agreements, partnerships and venture capital in less than 10 years. With superior software and the backing of NFCR and its scientific network, Rasio can exceed the growth of Nimbus.
Since 2014, oncologic small molecule therapeutic acquisitions have an aggregated value of $216B ,and over half of those deals have been made before the compound ever enters into clinical trials.
Asset Profile & Development Plan
Rasio program development is broken into four phases: target identification, drug design and synthesis, proof of concept studies, IND-enabling studies.
Rasio’s identification process has assessed over 40 potential cancer targets. From that list, several lead programs have been selected with more in late stage diligence.
Molecular dynamics simulations are currently underway for two encouraging programs. These programs include inhibitor development of Cancerous Inhibitor of Phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) and Ubiquitin-Specific Protease 7 (USP7).
Rasio is advancing a class of artemisinin-derivatives for the treatment of AML through IND-enabling studies.
Unmet Medical Need
An estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States and over 600,000 people will succumb to this disease.
Over 1/3 of men and women globally will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life.
Without new treatments, the growing incidence in cancer will result in a continued increase in healthcare costs.
While death rates have declined for some cancers, others have remained stagnant or increased.
Rasio’s technology identifies all binding pockets on a given cancer-related protein, even cryptic and hidden pockets that other software can’t find. The technology also identifies locations and binding affinities of novel compounds
Rasio’s relationship with NFCR means this technology is combined with a “powerhouse” of top tier science
Rasio’s access to SILCS developers allows for rapid turnaround and drug design
Most new therapeutic companies put all resources and efforts into a single drug or class of drugs, greatly increasing the chance of company failure. Rasio negates this risk by running multiple separate therapeutic programs in parallel