NEW YORK – Faeth Therapeutics said Thursday that it closed a $47 million series A financing round to advance clinical trials for targeted cancer treatments based on precise nutrient vulnerabilities of a tumor as determined by the patient's genotype, treatment, and the organ the cancer originated in.
The financing was led by S2G Ventures. Other participants in the funding round included Khosla Ventures, Future Ventures, Digitalis, KdT Ventures, AgFunder, and Cantos. To date, Faeth has raised a total of $67 million.
The underlying science on target nutrient control relies on discoveries in systemic metabolism from Lew Cantley, former director of the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; functional genomics research from Greg Hannon, director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute; and tumor metabolism research from Karen Vousden, chief scientist at CRUK. Scott Lowe, chair of cancer biology and genetics at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, oncologist and professor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, are also on Faeth's founding team.
The San Francisco-based company has detailed those findings in papers published in Nature, which suggest that specific nutrients can increase the efficacy of cancer therapies patients are receiving. In preclinical studies, controlling nutrients such as amino acids and sugars reduced the size of tumors and suppressed their growth as much as standard chemotherapies, and combining nutrient control with drugs was even more effective.
Faeth developed its product pipeline using the MetabOS platform, which combines machine learning with functional genomics to discover new metabolic treatments for cancer. It is conducting three clinical trials in colorectal and pancreatic cancer and in advanced solid tumors with PIK3CA mutations. In each trial, after patients have their tumors genomically screened for nutritional vulnerabilities, they receive a tailored medical diet as well as a drug.
The company plans to use the recently raised funds for early-phase clinical trials and to show its precision nutritional approach is safe for cancer patients. The money will also go to using the MetabOS platform to advance Faeth's preclinical pipeline.
"We believe Faeth has an unprecedented opportunity to introduce a completely new way of treating cancer by overcoming the chronically misguided advice given to patients for 100 or more years — that diet is irrelevant in treating cancer," Faeth Cofounder and CEO Anand Parikh said in a statement. "Like neurological, endocrine, metabolic, and autoimmune diseases, cancer can be treated through diet, but until now, scientific research into cancer nutrition patterns has lacked in-depth mechanistic understanding, contributing to potentially harmful advice for cancer patients."