Company Spotlight: Pathios Therapeutics
Published on 27 July 2022
We recently caught up with Pathios Therapeutics to learn more about their pioneering approach to treating cancer and experience presenting at the American Association of Cancer Research earlier this year.
Pathios Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company focused on translating innovative science into the creation of new medicines. It was founded in 2017 by an experienced team of biotechnology and pharmaceutical professionals.
Pathios is part of a drug development ecosystem set up to help companies achieve scientific, clinical and commercial success, called M:M Bio, alongside two other therapeutics companies, ThirtyFiveBio and Milton Park-based Grey Wolf Therapeutics. M:M Bio allows these companies to work closely with a wide network of approximately 150 partners, supporting accelerated drug discovery programmes to improve the lives of patients.
Within M:M Bio, Pathios has a highly integrated core operational team, providing a centralised structure and enabling more agile business decisions, delivering programmes at much greater speeds.
What does Pathios Therapeutics do?
Pathios Therapeutics’ technology focuses on developing specialised small-molecule inhibitors that enable the immune system to prevent cancer cells from developing and spreading.
Solid cancerous tumours typically increase the acidity of their immediate surroundings in the body, known as the tumour microenvironment (TME). This acidity is sensed by a cell surface receptor, called GPR65, on tumour associated macrophages (TAMs) – one of the key immune cell types in the TME that is able to mount an anti-tumour immune response.
The GPR65 receptor signal limits the ability of TAMs to fight cancer, lowering the body’s first line of defence against solid tumours, and allowing them to spread.
In response to this, Pathios has developed specialised inhibitor molecules that counteract this signalling, restoring the anti-tumour properties of the TAMs and enabling an effective immune response against solid cancerous tumours.
International recognition at AACR 2022
Earlier this year, Pathios Therapeutics was invited to present their work at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2022 annual meeting. This was a really significant experience for Pathios Therapeutics as a company and one that highlighted the significance of their pioneering work and the quality of their science.
The work they presented demonstrated that the GPR65 receptor is a critical immune checkpoint in the TME, acting as a gatekeeper of immune responses. This finding indicates a real potential that their work can improve patient outcomes across a variety of solid tumours.
Additionally, Pathios shared some compelling experimental data they’ve generated based on extensive gene expression studies and a range of other techniques showing that their GPR65 inhibitors have anti-cancer properties that compare favourably with currently approved immunotherapies.
Stuart Hughes, CEO at Pathios Therapeutics, said: “It was a huge honour for us to be selected to speak at AACR 2022 and share our innovative work on cancer therapies with others in the sector. It was a great endorsement of all the hard work our employees do at Pathios Therapeutics and how we plan to change lives for the better with our science.”
A vision for the future
Pathios’ vision is ultimately built around putting the patient first – it has the potential to make a significant impact in how effectively advanced solid cancers can be treated and thereby improve outcomes for patients.
In the near term, the company remains laser focused on progressing its pre-clinical programme to the point of development candidate nomination, with the aim of dosing its first patients in 2024.
Why Milton Park?
As one of the original drug discovery companies to join the M:M Bio ecosystem, which now has nearly 40 employees involved overall, Pathios was keen to have an office space that would give them the flexibility to grow at pace. Milton Park was able to provide just that, whilst also having access to some of the leading intellectual capital in biotech between Oxford, Cambridge and London.
Stuart added: “Milton Park has been a great home for Pathios Therapeutics over the years, providing us with an impressive modern building for our offices and access to excellent amenities such as food outlets and efficient transport links. Our employees really appreciate the modern workspace that we’ve established here as well as the green outdoor spaces to enjoy throughout the day.”
To find out more about the work that Pathios Therapeutics do, visit their website at pathiostherapeutics.com