Sitryx has launched today with the goal of treating cancer and inflammatory conditions by targeting the metabolism of immune cells, a promising area of research.
The new company has kicked off with a €26M Series A round co-led by two specialized investors, SV Health and Sofinnova Partners. Sitryx also has investment from GSK, with which the company will be working closely, accessing its technology, intellectual property and chemicals.
The company will focus on immunometabolism, as it has been shown that changes in the metabolic pathways of immune cells play an important role in the development of a wide range of diseases. This research field is now gaining momentum thanks to its potential to provide new drug targets for cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
“While the fundamentals of cell metabolism are well understood there is a fast-emerging area of research focused on the druggable potential of these pathways in immune cells to treat diseases,” CEO Neil Weir, who previously worked as SVP of Discovery at UCB Pharma, told me.
“Correcting immune cell function or inhibiting tumor cell growth through targeting metabolic pathways has the potential to deliver new approaches to treat a wide range of severe diseases, particularly in the areas of immuno-oncology and immuno-inflammation.”
The company currently has six undisclosed projects in the pipeline. Weir expects the funding to enable Sitryx to take one of them to the stage where it’s approved to start clinical trials, and have a second ready for preclinical studies if the projects progress as planned.
Sitryx will be developing small molecule drugs along with a type of drug called proteolysis targeting chimera, also known as PROTACs, which can find a target protein and degrade it.
“Our differentiation largely arises from the novel target insight we have obtained from our founders,” added Weir.
The six founders of the company are experts in the immunometabolism field from the US and Europe who came together through GSK’s Immunology Network, a program set up by one of the founders of Sitryx, Paul Peter Tak, to stimulate collaborations between industry and academia.
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