ExSight Ventures (“EV”) is pleased to announce our investment DTx Pharma, Inc. (“DTx”). DTx is developing technology that will utilize RNA-based therapeutics as the preferred modality for personalized treatment across many therapeutic areas. EV joined Eli Lilly, Friedman Bioventure Fund, Viva Biotech LTD, and Rivermount Ventures in a Series A financing of over $10M. The round also includes additional commitments from existing investors Tech Coast Angels members, and long-time partner EyeCRO toward ophthalmology focused drug development work. DTx will use these funds to build their team, advance their technology toward the clinic, and continue to build a strong intellectual property foundation.
EV was first introduced to the DTx CEO, Dr. Arthur Suckow, nearly two years ago by Dr. Jeff Friedman. We have stayed in touch and closely followed the company’s progress. Dr. Jeff Friedman is the founder and managing partner of Friedman BioVentures. Jeff is a clinician and investor that, in addition to investing in DTx, joined the company as COO. The ExSight team also co-invested alongside Dr. Friedman in RetroSense. Dr. Friedman's joining the company is a significant endorsement of DTx’s novel, proprietary technology, and a vote of confidence in founder and CEO, Dr. Suckow.
The biggest hurdle limiting the expansion of oligonucleotides as a therapeutic class is delivery–finding safe and effective ways to get siRNA into cells outside of the liver. This advancement will enable therapeutic access targets that are currently undruggable. These pathways are implicated in inherited retinal disease, autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative disease, cancer, glaucoma, or metabolic disease. In addition to accessing validated but undruggable targets, there are specific advantages to the siRNA mechanism concerning the duration of action and efficacy. These factors differentiate siRNA therapeutics from small molecules, antibodies, and even other oligonucleotide mechanisms.
DTx has developed a proprietary fatty-acid based technology that enables the delivery of siRNA therapeutics across multiple cell types. The company's platform technology permits oligonucleotide therapeutics to compete with small molecules and other biologics across most indications. It makes possible drug targets and diseases that small molecules and biologics cannot modulate.
We recently learned that DTx was able to leverage its technology to improve outcomes in a rodent model of Retinitis Pigmentosa. EyeCRO conducted the studies. This development is the first time DTx has demonstrated therapeutic effects in a disease model! These results further underscore the ExSight thesis; the eye is an ideal proving ground for platform technologies with potential non-ophthalmic indications.
Dr. Suckow has done an exemplary job shepherding this technology through the critical early stages. We are thrilled to join Artie, Jeff, the DTx team, and an impressive group of investors in bringing this platform therapeutic modality closer to helping patients.