Company Announces $40M Series A to Expand Drug Discovery Platform and Advance Clinical Candidate
Cambridge, MA /PRNewswire/ - Totus Medicines, a drug discovery company using breakthrough chemical biology to make the entire human genome druggable, today unveiled its revolutionary drug program targeting PI3Kα, the most commonly mutated cancer oncogene. The company also announced a $40 million Series A funding round led by investors DCVC Bio and Northpond Ventures and supported by Camford Capital with original seed funding from Social Impact Capital. The Series A financing will be used to expand and scale Totus Medicines' proprietary drug discovery platform and advance the company's lead program into the clinic.
Totus Medicines' TOS-358 drug program targets the PI3Kα mutation, which impacts more than 500,000 people in the U.S. every year and drives a significant percentage of breast, colon, lung, bladder, stomach, and other cancers. The pharmaceutical industry has spent decades and billions of dollars attempting to target PI3Kα, and current inhibitors only achieve moderate success in <10% of patients with PI3Kα-mutant cancers.
In just 18 months, Totus has used its proprietary drug discovery platform to develop TOS-358, which shows strong preclinical efficacy across PI3Kα-mutant tumor types where current PI3Kα inhibitors show weak to no efficacy. In patient-derived mouse xenograft models, TOS-358 induces tumor regressions across breast, colon, lung, stomach, and other models, while current inhibitors show mild effects. Totus Medicines will begin clinical trials for the TOS-358 drug program in the second half of 2022.
"Our drug discovery platform is capable of creating treatments for previously untreatable diseases," said Neil Dhawan, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Totus Medicines. "We are drugging undruggable targets at scale, moving us closer to a world where every physician and every patient can look forward to effective treatments for the most devastating illnesses. The TOS-358 drug program is a crowning achievement in that mission, and we look forward to advancing the program—and many others—into the clinic."
Totus Medicines' platform uses proprietary molecular tags that track drug binding in individual cells to screen billions of drug molecules across thousands of genes in parallel. By combining this approach with breakthrough machine learning techniques, the company has developed the next generation of cellular analysis. Continuously learning and adapting, the Totus platform is more effective, less costly, and thousands of times faster than legacy drug discovery methods, enabling the rapid translation of therapies to patients. Totus aims to screen two billion compounds across the human genome within the next two years to unlock precise, effective drugs across hundreds of high-value drug targets.
"The Series A financing will allow us to refine and grow the Totus platform to find new treatments for previously untreatable diseases—faster and more successfully than has ever been possible," said Jason Pontin, a Partner at DCVC, and a board member and co-founder of Totus Medicines. "The promise of Totus Medicines is that doctors can offer life-changing medicines to patients who would otherwise have little hope."
About Totus Medicines
Founded in 2019, Totus Medicines uses revolutionary chemical biology to create life-changing therapies to treat previously untreatable diseases across the entire human genome. Totus is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
For more information, please visit totusmedicines.com and follow Totus on LinkedIn and Twitter.