Disco tunes into new cancer drug targets

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EUR 20m to identify new targets and develop first in class drugs

DISCO Pharmaceuticals – a company specialising in unlocking the surfaceome of cancer cells at scale – has raided EUR 20m to identify new targets and develop first in class drugs.

The funding round was backed by a formidable investor syndicate, including Sofinnova Partners, Panakes Partners, M Ventures and AbbVie Ventures.

The development of new treatment modalities in oncology is increasing, however, the lack of cell surface targets limits the application to some clinically effective targets.

Also, the development of new biologics, such as bi-specific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates, is increasing and there are currently less than 30 molecular targets, which form the basis of all antibody-based therapies. Consequently, there is a significant need to identify novel cancer-selective targets and target pairs.

DISCO’s surfaceome mapping platform transforms the current approach of target discovery for large molecule R&D. This technology establishes proteins across the entire cancer cell surface in a scalable manner, thus addressing the need for target candidates for both mono- and bi-specific antibodies.

Meanwhile, the company has completed the first-ever map of the surfaceome of a cancer type – small cell lung cancer and is developing proprietary antibody-based treatments, which has been difficult to treat historically.

Roman Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, at disco elaborated: “We are launching Disco Pharmaceuticals and its breakthrough technology after a decade of research by our exceptional team.”

He added: “We believe that our surfaceome discovery technology is truly disruptive and will transform oncology treatment options and ultimately improve outcomes for patients.”

Maina Bhaman, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, concluded: “DISCO is uniquely positioned to transform cancer care. The team, which brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds from academia, biotech and pharma, combined with its unique surfaceome discovery technology, enables comprehensive target information which neither standard proteomics, nor genome or transcriptome sequencing can provide.”

Disco is currently working on microsatellite-stable colorectal cancer, which is linked with a high unmet medical need.

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