Oisin Biotechnologies uses a form of programmable suicide gene therapy to target senescent cells for destruction. The therapy can be triggered by expression of specific genes inside a cell, and so beyond senescent cells there is a long, long list of possibly harmful cell populations in aging and disease that it would be beneficial to remove. The obvious first choice is cancerous cells with a mutation in one of the common cancer suppressor genes, such that the gene is expressed but not helping. Thus Oisin Biotechnologies spun out OncoSenX last year. The company is moving forward towards trials, and recently raised a seed round to fund the work of the next few years.
OncoSenX, Inc., a late preclinical-stage company developing therapeutics to kill cancer cells based on their genetics, today announced it has raised $3 million in pre-seed funding to advance its pipeline. "These funds will allow us to accelerate the preclinical research necessary for us to begin phase 1 clinical development. We believe our non-viral gene therapy for solid tumors represents the first in a new class of cancer therapeutics. The OncoSenX team is diligently working to bring this new approach into the clinic for the benefit of a global oncology community clearly in need of new options."
OncoSenX is developing a highly selective tumor-killing platform with two main components: a proprietary lipid nanoparticle (LNP) for cellular delivery and a highly selective DNA payload. The LNP is designed to deliver its non-integrating DNA payload to solid tumors, while an engineered promoter drives expression of a potent, inducible death protein only in the target cell population. The goal is to precisely target cell populations based on their genetic activity without harming nearby cells. The platform can be effectively programmed to implement logic gates (IF/OR/AND) to provide selectivity to any target cell based on its genetics.
"Our preclinical studies suggest the OncoSenX approach has the potential to precisely kill cancer cells based on the mutations they harbor. If substantiated in the clinic, the platform could deliver reduced toxicity and improved tolerability over conventional chemotherapy, with the potential for superior targeting over biologics or even CAR-T therapy."