Collaboration will combine Volastra’s expertise in cancer biology with Dewpoint’s platform for targeting condensates to identify drug candidates that can stop metastasis and disease progression.
BOSTON, March 9, 2021 – Volastra Therapeutics and Dewpoint Therapeutics today announced a research and development partnership to discover novel modulators of biomolecular condensates to prevent cancer progression and metastasis. The partnership, which brings together Volastra’s insights into metastatic cancer biology and Dewpoint’s platform for targeting condensates, will initially be focused on early drug discovery, with the option for future joint development and commercialization.
In tumor cells with high chromosomal instability (CIN-high cells), chronic pro-inflammatory signaling can suppress the intrinsic immune response, promoting treatment resistance and progression and driving metastasis. The Volastra-Dewpoint collaboration is focused on selectively blocking the formation of a condensate in which this signaling occurs.
“The vast majority of cancers have high levels of chromosomal instability, but there are few effective treatment strategies targeting this hallmark of cancer,” said Charles Hugh-Jones, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at Volastra. “The formation of cytosolic DNA condensates is a key step in the pathway that drives metastasis in CIN-high cells. Disrupting these condensates has the potential to improve therapeutic outcomes. We’re excited to work closely with Dewpoint to bring promising new treatments to cancer patients.”
“Biomolecular condensates play an important role in a wide array of diseases, yet they remain largely untapped in drug discovery,” said Ameet Nathwani, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Dewpoint Therapeutics. “This collaboration represents a wonderful opportunity to bring our respective insights and capabilities to bear on the daunting challenge of metastatic cancer and to address an area of enormous unmet need.”
The collaboration will use Dewpoint’s condensate-modulator discovery platform to identify candidates that selectively block or interfere with the formation of the pro-inflammatory condensate in CIN-high cells; blocking condensate formation is one of several condensate modulation strategies that the company is pursuing across a number of disease areas. Volastra will in turn provide cell-based assay validation of candidates in chromosomally unstable cells.
About Volastra Therapeutics, Inc.
Volastra Therapeutics is pioneering novel approaches to halt or prevent cancer metastasis, one of the major unsolved challenges in cancer treatment. Co-founders Lewis Cantley, Ph.D., Olivier Elemento, Ph.D. and Samuel Bakhoum, M.D., Ph.D., made seminal discoveries about the role of chromosomal instability in driving cancer spread. Volastra is built on those insights. Based in West Harlem, N.Y., Volastra is committed to improving outcomes for people living with cancer.
For more information, please visit volastratx.com.
About Dewpoint Therapeutics
Dewpoint Therapeutics is the first company to apply the emerging understanding of biomolecular condensates to drug discovery. Dewpoint believes that a vast range of conditions have pathways that are regulated by condensates or arise from the dysfunction of condensates — including cancer, neurodegeneration, infectious disease, and metabolic disease. Dewpoint scientists work in Boston, Dresden, and Berlin to translate condensate biology into treatments for the toughest diseases.
Scientists or investors interested in biomolecular condensates can also visit condensates.com for news and updates in the field.