DRx, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, launched today with a $122 million oversubscribed series A financing.
The financing was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Casdin Capital, with participation from Nextech Invest, Forge Life Science Partners and other undisclosed investors.
Inspired by a few curative combination regimens in cancer and the successful drug cocktails engineered in other disease areas such as cystic fibrosis and antivirals, IDRx was incubated by Borisy Labs to address the limitations of today’s precision cancer medicines with highly selective, purposely designed drug combinations to help more patients achieve prolonged, durable responses to therapy earlier in the course of their disease.
“Although precision medicines have revolutionized the treatment of some cancers, tumors can evolve multiple escape mutations,” said Alexis Borisy, co-founder of IDRx.
“At IDRx, we are leveraging deep scientific insights in tumor biology with now available drug engineering capabilities to pioneer novel, selective, intelligently designed combination therapies that aim to hit driver mutations hard, cover escape pathways and provide sufficient therapeutic index and safety profiles for use in early lines of treatment where there is the best potential to provide patients with durable clinical benefits.”
“IDRx’s approach offers the opportunity to develop more effective cancer medicines for patients through intentionally built treatment combinations, and we are starting with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), where tumor biology is well known but, at the same time, there remains a high unmet medical need,” said Ben Auspitz, co-founder and CEO of IDRx.
“We are proud to assemble this expert team of founders and leaders in precision medicine and in GIST, and to be launching as a clinical-stage company with our first-in-human study for IDRX-42 initiated. Our goal is to build de novo combinations to serve as transformative cancer treatments.”
Pipeline of precision cancer combination therapies
IDRx’s pipeline includes IDRX-42 and IDRX-73, small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors acquired through license agreements with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Blueprint Medicines, respectively, which are designed to inhibit the key genetic drivers and drug-resistant mutations of non-PDGFR-driven gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), a sarcoma of the GI tract.
A phase 1 first-in-human study of IDRX-42 has been initiated, and IDRX-73 is currently advancing towards the clinic. IDRX-42 was also recently granted Orphan Drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of GIST.