Pathios Therapeutics Limited (“Pathios”), a biotech company focused on the development of therapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer, today announced a US$8.8M Series A financing round with leading international healthcare investors Canaan and Australia’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund managed by Brandon Capital (“MRCF”). Also announced was the appointment of Stuart Hughes as Chief Executive Officer and Director.
Tom McCarthy, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, commented: “We established Pathios to capitalize on emerging scientific evidence that the pH sensing GPCR, GPR65, is a critical regulator of T-cells and tumour associated macrophages. We are proud of the recent progress we’ve made to expand the founding team and the acceleration of our drug discovery efforts following close collaboration with the team at Sygnature Discovery and their investment earlier this year. We are now on the verge of clearly defining the biological processes GPR65 controls, it’s genetic links to disease and how small molecules can modulate its signalling. As we push ahead, we are delighted to have additional support from such well-credentialed investors and to welcome Stuart to Pathios. He is a proven leader and strong communicator who possesses the skills and experience to execute on the Company’s strategy.”
Pathios’ drug discovery programme is aimed at modulating the activity of GPR65. The company targets its signalling in cells of the immune system. Many pathological environments are characterized by abnormally acidic pH which signals to local immune cells leading to profound and unfavourable changes in their characteristics. A key mediator of these effects is GPR65 which is highly expressed on cells of both the adaptive and innate immune systems. Pathios is developing novel drugs to suppress the harmful signalling brought about by GPR65.
This drug target is characteristic of certain T helper 17 (Th17) cell populations which have been shown to contribute significantly to the pathology of autoimmune conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. In addition, recently published studies have demonstrated GPR65 drives tumour associated macrophages (TAM) to adopt a phenotype that supports cancer immune evasion.
Stuart Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of Pathios Therapeutics Limited, commented: “I am thrilled at the opportunity to lead Pathios Therapeutics at such an exciting time in the company’s journey. Pathios has an excellent foundation for exploiting the therapeutic potential of GPR65 in the immune system. I look forward to working with the team and building on the excellent science done so far to bring that to fruition. I am also delighted to see the company backed by such high-calibre investors, enabling us to accelerate our drug discovery efforts.”