Pinpoint Therapeutics secures funds for developing autophagy inhibitors for cancer

Pinpoint Therapeutics, a US biopharma company focused on developing autophagy inhibitors for cancer treatment, has secured $1 million in debt financing led by California-based venture capital firm Kairos Ventures.

The preclinical stage company was founded in 2018 through PCI Ventures, a division of the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) at the University of Pennsylvania. It was founded by researchers Ravi K. Amaravadi and Jeffrey D. Winkler from the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and the Department of Chemistry.

Jim Demetriades – founder and Managing Partner of Kairos Ventures said: “Pinpoint has developed best-in-class compounds with unprecedented therapeutic potential and we are thrilled to support their efforts as they develop these novel drug-candidates for treatment of colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, and other major unmet needs in oncology.”

According to Pinpoint Therapeutics, autophagy is a well-established mechanism of cancer cell survival and drug resistance.

The biopharma company claimed that its compounds target a recently discovered enzyme in the autophagy pathway called PPT1, which is expressed highly across most cancers. Pinpoint Therapeutics believes that these inhibitors could be applied to a wide range of cancers alone or in combination with other treatments to overcome the challenge of therapy resistance.

The pharma start-up will develop autophagy inhibitors into clinical drugs for evaluating in a variety of treatment-refractory cancers.

Christian Peters – CEO of Pinpoint Therapeutics said: “This initial round of financing will allow us to develop a new approach to drugging autophagy, which until now seemed difficult to target in cancer. The activity of PPT1 inhibitors in cancer models has not been seen before in the autophagy space.”

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