An innovative covalent platform for precision targeting of disease-causing proteins
Seed financing led by RA Capital Management, Droia Ventures, and Novartis Venture Fund with participation from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, KB Investment and Eisai Innovation
LEXINGTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / September 19, 2023 / Hyku Biosciences, Inc. (Hyku) today announced its launch with $56 million in seed financing to develop precision covalent medicines in oncology. Hyku is deploying an innovative chemoproteomics platform that selectively disarms disease-causing proteins by covalently targeting ligandable amino acids such as histidines, tyrosines or lysines. Hyku was incubated by RAVen, RA Capital Management's company creation engine, and is based on groundbreaking chemoproteomics research at the University of Virginia by its scientific founder, Dr. Ku-Lung (Ken) Hsu. Dr. Hsu is a recipient of The Mark Foundation's Emerging Leader Award and currently The Stephen F. and Fay Evans Martin Endowed Associate Professor of Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin.
"Hyku was created with a singular focus to improve patient lives using the power of covalent medicines. Hyku's innovative and unique platform integrates chemoproteomics, proprietary chemistry and bespoke computational and machine-learning algorithms to target critically important amino acids such as histidines, tyrosines and lysines to expand the druggable proteome. We are proud to have a team of accomplished scientists led by our CSO, Mark Mulvihill, PhD, to achieve Hyku's vision." said Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., Founder, Acting CEO of Hyku and Venture Partner at RA Capital Management.
"Recent progress in covalent medicine has focused largely on targeting cysteines - Hyku builds on that progress, but now targeting proteins and sites only accessible with non-cysteine covalent chemistry," said Laura Tadvalkar, Ph.D., Managing Director at RA Capital Management and Hyku Board member. "We are proud to see the progress Hyku has made since its inception."
"We believe that precision covalent medicines provide a promising approach to address current and emerging challenges in oncology. Hyku's in-house chemoproteomics platform allows the team to make rapid progress across a range of pipeline programs - both internal and potentially with partners in the future. We look forward to working with the Hyku team and support their bold vision," said Matthias Van Woensel, Ph.D., Partner at Droia Ventures and Hyku Board member.
About Hyku Biosciences
Hyku Biosciences is a biotechnology company, based in the greater Boston area, building the leading covalent medicines discovery platform to inhibit disease targets which are challenging to address with conventional approaches. Hyku's drug discovery engine is based on its proprietary platform technologies, which identifies histidine, tyrosine and lysine based binding pockets and enables rational drug design for therapeutic development. The platform pioneered by Hyku has the potential to fundamentally expand the scope of small molecule drug discovery, greatly increase druggability across many target classes, and bring significant therapeutic benefits to patients via novel medicines. For more information, visit http://www.hykubiosciences.com
SOURCE: Hyku Biosciences, Inc.
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