Faeth Therapeutics Raises $47 Million to Advance Clinical Trials and Feed the Fight Against Cancer
Faeth Therapeutics, a cancer metabolism company, today announced the closing of a $47 million Series A round of private financing led by S2G Ventures, bringing total funding to date to $67 million. The proceeds of the financing will be used to advance Faeth’s clinical trials that combine nutrient control, therapeutics and digital tools to inhibit cancer metabolism. Seed round co-lead investors Khosla Ventures and Future Ventures also participated in the Series A, along with additional support from Digitalis, KdT Ventures, AgFunder, and Cantos.
“We believe Faeth has an unprecedented opportunity to introduce a completely new way of treating cancer by overcoming the chronically misguided advice given to patients for 100 or more years – that diet is irrelevant in treating cancer,” said Anand Parikh, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Faeth Therapeutics. “Like neurological, endocrine, metabolic and autoimmune diseases, cancer can be treated through diet, but until now, scientific research into cancer nutrition patterns has lacked in-depth mechanistic understanding, contributing to potentially harmful advice for cancer patients.”
Faeth Therapeutics was formed after three leading research teams separately converged on one big idea – that controlling metabolism through a combination of drugs and nutrient availability can beat cancer. Discoveries in systemic metabolism, functional genomics and tumor metabolism from, respectively, Lew Cantley, former Director of the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and now a professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Greg Hannon, Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, and Karen Vousden, Chief Scientist at CRUK, have collectively shown the power of targeted nutrient control to starve tumors. Faeth’s founding team also includes Scott Lowe, chair of cancer biology and genetics at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Sid Mukherjee, a Pulitzer Prize-winning oncologist and professor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Faeth’s trio of foundational research papers, published in Nature, suggest that precisely controlling nutrients can enhance the efficacy of approved cancer therapeutics. “We intend to ‘feed the fight’ using this work and create the fourth pillar of cancer treatment, alongside surgery, drugs, and radiotherapy,” Parikh said.
“Cancer treatments have greatly evolved over the past decade, but the nutritional advice given to cancer patients, who are often simply told to keep their weight up, hasn’t changed,” said S2G Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director Sanjeev Krishnan, who joined Faeth Therapeutics’ board. “The right nutrients are as important to survival as the right intervention, whether that’s surgery or a therapeutic. Faeth has the data to support that targeted nutrient control can reprogram tumor metabolism to deprive it of the nutrients it needs to grow and resist treatment.”
Preclinical studies in organoid and mouse models demonstrate that precise control of molecules, including amino acids and sugar, can reduce tumor size and suppress growth to a similar extent as standard-of-care chemotherapies, and combining nutrient control with drugs is significantly more efficacious than either intervention alone. The Faeth Therapeutics approach comprises precisely targeted nutrient control, therapeutics, and digital tools to support both the patient and clinician. The company has now moved to first-in-human clinical trials looking at pancreatic, colon, endometrial and ovarian cancers.
“The proceeds of the round will be used to support early phase clinical trials focusing on the safety of our approaches in cancer patients. Additionally, the funds will support development of our novel preclinical pipeline with our discovery platform, MetabOS™, which combines machine learning and functional genomics to uncover the precise nutrient vulnerabilities for a tumor based on genotype, organ of origin, and therapy,” said Oliver Maddocks, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Faeth Therapeutics.
“Patients always want to know how they can change their diet to improve their outcomes with cancer, but until the work of this team, the science has been very limited. We are seeing early evidence that Faeth’s approaches to altering the inputs of metabolism may be as effective as other more traditional treatments, and can be combined on top of current therapies,” said Alex Morgan, Partner at Khosla Ventures. “We continue to invest in companies with bold ambitions for a large positive impact on society, leading Faeth’s early seed investment and continuing to support its growth.”
“We are impressed by Faeth’s urgency to move from preclinical data to first-in-human trials. When some of the most preeminent cancer researchers independently reached the same conclusions about nutrient control, then came together to do something about it, we knew we had to back the company,” said Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director at Future Ventures.
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