Talus Bio Wants to Knock Proteins off DNA
Talus Bio is a biotech company that aims to develop drugs that target gene regulatory proteins (GRPs), which are proteins that switch genes on and off. GRPs are important for many diseases, especially cancer, but most of them are hard to drug because they have no clear binding sites for small molecules. Talus Bio has developed a platform called MARMOT that can measure the amount of GRPs that are stuck to the DNA inside the cell, and use this information to identify and test potential drugs that can knock them off the DNA, effectively switching off disease-causing genes.
Talus Bio spun out of the University of Washington and Seattle’s Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences in October 2020 and raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding. It is also part of Y Combinator’s accelerator program and plans to pitch its work to investors at the end of August. The company’s first focus is on oncology, but it also envisions applications in aging and other indications.