Pathios Therapeutics is a drug discovery company that was established in 2017 by a team of experienced pharmaceutical industry professionals and biotech entrepreneurs. Based in Oxford, UK, and part of the M:M Bio (Molecule 2 Medicine) ecosystem, the company is founded upon a deep understanding of the biology of tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs). To date Pathios has raised $33M in Series A funding to develop novel small-molecule modulators of GPR65 as a genetically-validated, first-in-class approach to addressing the critical features of TAMs in the immunologically hostile tumour microenvironment (TME). This approach targets the underlying causal biology of myeloid cell immunosuppression in solid tumours and is expected to have utility across a broad spectrum of cancers.
Pathios employs a cutting-edge scientific approach to mapping the signalling of GPR65 in primary immune cells based on human genetic insights, transcriptomics and state-of-the-art cellular immunology. By leveraging a range of proprietary insights emerging from this approach, Pathios has identified GPR65 as a key innate immune checkpoint on TAMs and now aims to rapidly deliver on the promise of novel therapeutic agents targeting this receptor. We combine a team of experienced scientific leaders with a number of strategic external partnerships to efficiently carry out a range of drug discovery and scientific activities, capitalising on the very latest advances in GPCR drug discovery.
TAMs are by far the most abundant infiltrating immune cells in tumours, comprising up to 50% of immune cells in the TME
A high density of immunosuppressive TAMs in the tumour microenvironment is linked to poor survival and also a lack of response to current T-cell checkpoint inhibitors
No approved therapies currently effectively target immunosuppressive TAMs in cancer
“Pathios is founded on the simple principle that malignant tumours are characterised by an abnormally low pH that signals to tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) to fundamentally change their characteristics in a detrimental way for the patient. At the apex of this signalling is the cell-surface receptor, GPR65, which senses the acidic tumour microenvironment and renders TAMs as highly immunosuppressive and pro-tumourigenic. Pathios’ approach is focused on developing drugs that block GPR65 to prevent this signalling and unlock the enormous power of the innate immune system in the fight against cancer. This approach is firmly grounded in human genetic validation, has robust monotherapy potential and is therefore unique amongst approaches that target myeloid cells in cancer.” Dr. Stuart Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Pathios Therapeutics