Surely, there is no end to everything human beings can do, and yet there is little we do better than growing on a consistent basis. This tendency to improve under all circumstances has enabled us to hit upon some huge milestones, with technology appearing as a major member of the stated group. The main reason why technology enjoys such an esteemed stature among people is down to its skill-set, which ushered us towards a reality that we couldn’t have imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, if we look beyond the surface, it should become clear how the whole runner was also very much inspired by the way we applied those skills across a real-world environment. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence, including a timely appearance on our healthcare block. Technology’s foray into healthcare was perfectly timed, as it came right when the sector was beginning to struggle against its own outdated structure. This reality, fortunately for us, went through a complete overhaul under the new regime, but even after reaching so far, the new and budding medtech concept will somehow continue to produce all the right goods. The same has only turned more and more evident over the recent past, and truth be told, a new piece of funding does a lot to keep that trend alive and kicking.
Entact Bio, the company pioneering the development of precision medicines that enhance the function of key proteins, has successfully secured over $81 million in Series A financing. Co-led by Qiming Venture Partners USA and venBio Partners, the round saw further participation coming from the likes of Abingworth, Brandon Capital, Janus Henderson Investors, Logos Capital, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), and WEHI (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research), 4BIO Capital, and Arkin Bio Ventures. According to certain reports, the company will use the newly-raised cash to advance its proprietary Encompass™ platform, which is designed to develop enhancement-targeting chimeric (ENTAC™) molecules. But what are these ENTAC molecules? Well, ENTACs are those elements that enhance protein function by harnessing the power of enzymes called deubiquitinases, or DUBs, which are key regulators of proteins in the cell. By doing so, ENTACs are able to remove any disease-causing molecular tag from a particular protein, and therefore, achieve the desired therapeutic effect without disposing the whole protein altogether. You see, most therapies within this niche are focused on either blocking the problematic protein or degrading it. Entact, through its approach of preserving the protein, conceives a method that could offer a new way to treat various diseases, such as cancer, haploinsufficiencies, and more
Interestingly enough, though, protein enhancement isn’t the only therapeutic avenue in play here. To give you some context, many diseases arise when proteins are in the wrong location in cells. Hence, what Enact does here is that it, once again, uses DUBs to selectively shorten the molecular chain, which subsequently changes where in the cell the protein goes.
“Our aim is to provide new options for patients by developing precision medicines that enhance the function of beneficial proteins rather than eliminating or blocking proteins that contribute to disease,” said Victoria Richon, CEO of Entact Bio. “To transform this vision into reality, we have built Encompass, a proprietary platform for creating therapeutics that harness the cell’s mechanism for enhancing protein function. These ENTAC medicines will make an important difference for patients whose needs aren’t adequately met by today’s treatments.”
Entact isn’t the first organization to have leveraged DUBs for treating various disease-causing proteins, as players like Stablix Therapeutics, Vicinitas Therapeutics, and more notably, University of Berkeley have already dipped their toes in the subject. However, the stated funding should allow Entact to secure a unique spot for itself sooner rather than later.