Tvardi Therapeutics, an AIM-HI Accelerator Fund portfolio company, has won recognition as one of the ten “Most Promising” companies at the 2020 Texas Life Science Forum. Hosted by BioHouston and the Rice Alliance, the 2020 Texas Life Science Forum is one of the largest life science venture capital conferences in the Southwest. The three-day virtual event highlighted companies throughout the US in various stages of development, with a specific focus on the life science industry in Texas.
Tvardi is striving to formulate a new class of medicines for multiple cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and fibrotic diseases. Tvardi understands the key role STAT3, a signaling molecule, plays in countless pathways supporting the survival of cancer cells and their ability to hinder immune responses.
More than 50% of all cancer types are activated by STAT3 and studies have shown that inhibition of STAT3 promotes cancer cell death and slows cancer spread. Additionally, approximately 40,000 patients are diagnosed with HCC and sadly a large percentage of them will die from the disease. Tvardi strives to provide alternatives to patients and change this unfortunate truth.
As Tvardi continues to make exceptional progress, the company was recognized by others as they present another outlook to hopefully increase the chances for patients suffering with advanced solid tumors. Many noted how a majority of cancer patients are affected by STAT3 and admit the lack of therapies available that exhibit improvement. Therefore, they have since come forth to contribute towards Tvardi’s objective.
Mid-year, collaborators including the National Cancer Institute received over $5 million in non-dilutive grants to aid in the development of STAT3 inhibitors. Additionally, funding from the PREVENT program allows to form translational work concentrating on preventing HCC, totaling to $20 million in funding.
AIM-HI is proud to support Tvardi in its early stage development as it’s our mission to provide critically needed seed funding and resources to oncology startups that translate breakthroughs in discoveries into effective new cancer therapies and diagnosis and eventually, save patients’ lives.