Triana Raises $110M to Solve Undruggable Cancer Targets with Molecular Glue

Financing Concept

Triana Biomedicines leaped out of stealth mode with $110 million in Series A financing that will be used to fund its mission to discover and develop novel small molecules to treat diseases. These molecules then become the backbone of a scalable “molecular glue.”

As Boston-based Triana describes it, molecular glues could allow for the pursuit of highly disease-relevant targets that have long been considered undruggable or inadequately addressed by traditional drug discovery approaches. The company’s technology enables it to identify molecules that are capable of promoting interaction between a target and another protein in a manner that alters the fate or function of the target protein.

“Our target-first, rational approach to molecular glue discovery lets us consider a wide range of therapeutic applications for our products. Our initial focus on targeted protein degradation is driven by our desire to discover and develop groundbreaking new cancer medicines,” the company said on its website.

These “molecular glues,” as the company notes, will allow Triana to treat diseases in entirely new ways by pursuing highly disease-relevant targets that have long been considered undruggable or are inadequately addressed. Triana’s platform is expected to be able to identify more than 600 preferred E3 ligases for priority disease targets and generate products that “stabilize pre-existing or create de novo interactions between two proteins and alter the fate or functionality of the disease target.”

“Triana aims to solve the number one problem in the molecular glue field by selecting the best available ligase for each target to enable systematic molecular glue discovery,” Patrick Trojer, president and chief executive officer of Triana said in a statement. Prior to his role at Triana, Trojer served as chief scientific officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals.

As CEO, Trojer takes a seat on the board of directors that also includes David Grayzel, managing director of RA Capital, Josh Resnick, a partner at Lightspeed and Shelley Chu, executive director of Pfizer and Pfizer Venture Partners. Additional board members include Christopher O’Donnell, Simon Read, Jigar Raythatha and Milind Deshpande.

In addition to Trojer, Triana’s leadership team includes Jesse Chen, a company co-founder who will serve as chief technology officer. Jean-Christophe Harmange will serve as CSO and Kathleen Seyb will take on the role of senior vice president of biology.

“Triana is pioneering the next frontier in targeted protein degradation,” Resnick said in a statement. “Building on our past support for companies working on induced proximity, Triana extends the profound benefits of degradation with rational glue discovery.”

The company was initially provided seed funding by RA Capital Management and Atlas Venture. The Series A financing round was co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and the company's seed investors. Pfizer Ventures, Surveyor Capital and Logos Capital also participated in the investment round.

Pfizer Ventures’ Chu expressed excitement about supporting the Series A. She said the company operates at the “compelling and unique intersection of machine learning, structural biophysics and glue-focused DEL screening.”

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