New Grants to Accelerate Talus Bio’s Development of Transcription Factor Drugs
The funding from the National Institutes for Health and the Washington State Andy Hill CARE Fund will fuel drug discovery efforts leveraging Talus Bio’s proprietary discovery platform.
Talus Bioscience, a drug discovery company built by a world-class team of scientific leaders in proteomics, biochemistry, and machine learning developing new treatments for cancer, inflammation, and other diseases, today announced $4.3M in non-dilutive grant funding across three new awards.
The Seattle-based company received two grants totaling $2.3M from the CARE Fund to fuel the discovery of new transcription factor inhibitors for rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma, two childhood cancers. Talus Bio was also awarded a $2.0M SBIR fast-track grant from the NIH to utilize its proprietary Multiplexed Assays for the Rational Modulation Of Transcription Factors (MARMOT) platform to fuel their deep learning AI model and further accelerate the development of transcription factor drugs.
Talus Bio’s MARMOT functional proteomics platform measures genome regulatory proteins directly in live, non-engineered cells, enabling unprecedented levels of speed, precision, and resolution to disrupt transcription factors to stop disease. Transcription factors are proteins that control every gene in a person’s genome by binding to DNA and flipping the on/off switches that govern gene expression. When they go awry, they often drive cancer and other disease processes like diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and neurological conditions.
“At Talus Bio we believe ‘nothing is undruggable.’ As we lead the charge advancing transcription factor therapeutics, we’re seeing the promise of our vision become reality. This funding will enable us to accelerate and optimize new molecules to address diseases that are driven by regulatory protein dysfunction,” said Talus Bio CEO and Co-Founder Alex Federation, PhD. “We’re using this momentum to accelerate and optimize drug discovery for diseases including these two childhood cancers, while simultaneously interrogating other promising targets for development in-house or through out-licensing with pharma partners.”
Talus Bio’s pipeline also includes the first inhibitor blocking a previously undruggable transcription factor that drives chordoma. Chordoma is a spinal cord cancer that is resistant to chemotherapy.
“Our unique team fuses three critical disciplines: biochemistry, functional proteomics, and machine learning. This allows us to measure transcription factors in their native cellular environment, where these proteins fold and function differently than when they are removed from the cell,” said Lindsay Pino, PhD, Talus Bio CTO and Co-Founder. “This new funding lets us study a compound’s effect on the specific gene activity driving these diseases, as well as unexpected interactions with off-target DNA-bound proteins that could lead to potential side effects during drug development.”
This new grant funding follows a previous $2.45M fast-track award from the NIH to commercialize the MARMOT platform and identify small molecule inhibitors that target oncogenic gene fusion proteins in MLL-rearranged leukemias. Talus Bio has secured six non-dilutive grant awards to date exceeding $7.3M as well as $8.5M in venture funding.
Talus Bioscience Announces $4.3 Million in New Grants to Advance Pediatric Cancer Therapeutics by Targeting Previously Undruggable Transcription Factors
About Talus Bioscience:
Founded in 2020 by Alex Federation, PhD, and Lindsay Pino, PhD, Talus Bio is a drug discovery and development company focused on therapeutics that target previously undruggable transcription factors. The Seattle-based company’s proprietary therapeutics discovery platform MARMOT (Multiplexed Assays for the Rational Modulation Of Transcription Factors) integrates next-gen proteomics, synthetic chemistry, AI, and computational biology to engineer and interrogate drugs, proteins, and genomics at unprecedented scale. Talus Bio employs a growing team of more than a dozen world-leading scientific experts in the fields of proteomics, biochemistry, computational biology and machine learning.
About Andy Hill CARE Fund:
The Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund invests in public and private entities to promote cancer research in Washington. Through research grants and strategic partnerships, the CARE Fund aims to improve health outcomes by advancing transformational research in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The Washington State Legislature created the CARE Fund in 2015 and this public investment in cancer research is maximized by private and non state matching funds.