RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Fourteen years ago, the founders of Incyclix Bio were part of a different team with a shared vision – seven words scrawled on a lab whiteboard at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – “It’s a good day to cure cancer.”
They’ve been at it ever since. And they’ve just received $30 million in Series B financing to help make their job a little easier.
The three scientists – Patrick Roberts, Pharm.D., Ph.D.; Jay Strum, Ph.D.; and John Bisi, B.S. – were among the researchers who helped create G1 Therapeutics in 2008. In 2020 they founded Incyclix Bio (formally Arc Therapeutics) – headquartered in Research Triangle Park – with an exclusive license for G1’s preclinical CDK2 inhibitor program.
Roberts is CEO, Strum is chief scientific officer, and Bisi is senior vice president of research and development.
Fred Eshelman, who established Eshelman Ventures, is a co-founder as well.
On March 30 the company announced the closing of a $30 million Series B financing led by a new investor, Boxer Capital. RA Capital Management also participated, along with existing investor Eshelman Ventures.
Eshelman, an early financer in G1, is chairman of Incyclix’s Board of Directors. Sid Subramony, Ph.D., vice president of Boxer Capita, will join the board. Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, principal of RA Capital, will be a board observer.
Incyclix focuses on producing small molecule inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) to attack advanced and treatment-resistant cancers. The uncontrolled cellular growth that is a hallmark of the disease is commonly caused by the activity of various types of CDK.
Incyclix said the financing will be used to support the clinical development of its lead compound, INX-315, a selective cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) inhibitor that is nearing clinical stage. The company is planning a proof-of-concept phase 1/2 study in CDK4/6-resistent and Cyclin E-overexpressed cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer.
While CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved for patients with certain types of breast cancer, they don’t effectively treat the variations of disease targeted by Incyclix’s experimental CDK2 therapy.
“Incyclix Bio is entering an exciting time of growth as we transition from preclinical to clinical development and we are encouraged by the tremendous support of our new and existing investment partners,” CEO Roberts said. “This financing will enable us to validate INX-315 in the clinic and generate proof of concept data to support future development.”
The funding is the culmination of nearly a decade and a half journey for Roberts, Strum and Bisi. They say they’ve never lost sight of their ultimate goal – to get treatments to patients. And they must be convinced they’re making progress. Just consider Incyclix’s new mantra, outlined on the company’s webpage – “Today is an even better day to cure cancer.”
(C) N.C. Biotech Center