DTx Pharma technology has enabled safe and effective delivery of RNA drugs to tissues like muscle, nerve and the heart.
Meet DTx Pharma
Why is your company the best option to solve the problem you're solving?
The large majority of technologies in development for RNA therapeutics are limited to liver applications. There are a whole host of diseases outside of the liver, driven by genetic mutations for which RNA therapeutics might be curative if the obstacles associated with delivery of this class of medicines could be overcome. Our technology is one of a few that have demonstrated successful delivery of RNA drugs to tissues like muscle, nerve and heart at therapeutically relevant doses. Further, it is comprised of naturally occurring fatty acids, has a low cost of goods and is simple to manufacture.
What else do you want us to know?
DTx Pharma was founded as an idea in late 2017 based on the team’s collective experience working on fatty acids in other areas of drug development, including small molecules and protein biologics. In parallel with working to develop the technology, we worked very closely with the Connect Springboard program to develop and optimize our pitch. The Springboard mentors provided guidance and, ultimately, confidence. Connect armed us with access to a network of experienced executives that launched DTx to early success with fundraising and execution of the business plan.
BEHIND THE COMPANY
CEO/Founder: Arthur T Suckow PhD
What one book, podcast, newsletter, etc. do you recommend to other entrepreneurs? Why?
The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living. The spirit of the book is that since “you only live once” (YOLO), you might as well do something that has meaning to you. It’s a fictional story about an entrepreneur told by a successful CEO, board member and professor.
What is your company's secret sauce?
I like to think it’s our experience working in non-RNA based therapeutic modalities like small molecules, antibody conjugates and peptide therapeutics. This experience allowed our team to bring a different perspective to the table that would have been impossible otherwise.
What inspired you to start/run this company?
I had known that I wanted to start a company since graduate school. At that time, there was an exam called the minor proposition at UCSD for which you had to come up with your own idea outside of your thesis work. After presenting the idea to the committee during my 2nd year, I came to find out a few days later that investors were interested in funding it. While I didn’t have the experience or background at the time, I knew this was ultimately what I wanted to do. At every stop since then, including J&J, AstraZeneca and Regulus, I made sure I was exposed to as many aspects of drug development and the business of drug development as possible. I knew exposure to this would pay dividends when I ultimately decided to start my own company. What keeps me motivated to run the company is conversations with patients who suffer from the rare diseases we are trying to treat. I can’t tell you how inspiring it is, and how much easier it is to work an 80-hour work week when you truly understand how the patients’ day to day is impacted by their disease.
What's the best entrepreneurial advice you've received?
Relationships are critical to success. It takes time and effort to develop relationships and trust with potential investors, current and future employees, KOLs and many other stakeholders important to the business. It’s impossible to be successful without an extensive network of people who believe in and trust you.
What's the worst entrepreneurial advice you've received?
I don’t know that there is one example of the worst advice I’ve ever received. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no shortage of people around the table who are willing to provide advice & guidance but, there are very few who have been there and done that. Always keep in perspective the backgrounds and experiences of the folks that are providing advice and filter accordingly.
What sets your company culture apart?
We are a data-driven company — as cliché as that sounds, my experience in the past is that most companies are far more interested in achieving “milestones” rather than paying attention to what the data are saying. It’s easy to make excuses to progress a project, much harder to kill a project. We are interested in making drugs for patients, not spending years working on things that have no chance for success. The only way to do that is to follow the data and make decisions accordingly.