f5 Therapeutics harnesses the power of protein degradation to transform human health.
Meet f5 Therapeutics
Why is your company the best option to solve the problem you're solving?
Protein degradation has been one of the hottest areas of investment over the last 7 years based on the potential to "drug the undruggable". Within targeted protein degradation, "molecular glue" has been the second generation modality that has garnered a new wave of investment after the PROTACs have dominated the funding landscape of TPD previously. Molecular glues can access >4600 proteins with differentiating clinical potential with disclosed efforts focused on less than 50 proteins. That means that there are potentially 4550 proteins that have the ability to combat disease in ways that have never been discovered. Finding, defining, and degrading this potential goldmine of undiscovered chemistry and biology requires a set of skills that you can't read about; experience is the critical factor in mining these proteins to bring out their potential. My scientific team has brought 27 clinical candidates and one approved drug in their careers with over 20 years of combined experience in protein degradation. The methods they've employed in the past are the same we are utilizing here at f5 Therapeutics. Our efforts have achieved in vitro POC across 5 diverse therapeutic areas with high unmet needs (immuno-oncology, oncology, NASH, liver fibrosis, autoimmune disease).
What nuggets of info make you interesting? Why do people care about what you're doing?
One of our NExMods (Neosubstrate Expression Modulators) has the potential to degrade 6-8 proteins meaning that one molecule may have the ability to affect multiple aspects of disease. These multi-modal molecules can replace combination therapies (like those being utilized in oncology) with the potential to increase efficacy, reduce side effects, and increase tolerability. All of our molecules are Rule of 5, Lipinsky-compliant (meaning they have good oral bioavailability). This will allow f5 Therapeutics to reach many patient populations that do not have access to antibody or cell therapies.
What else do you want us to know?
Our Series A raise will allow us to establish our lab here in San Diego. This major stepping stone in our evolution will allow us to create jobs and add to the already stellar reputation that San Diego owns in the biotech community. We are grateful to CONNECT and it's partners to allow us to get the word out on our promising science and technology platform.
BEHIND THE COMPANY
CEO/Founder: Gary Choy
What is your company's secret sauce?
Our company's 'secret sauce' is in our platform, methods, and drug development experience. Many companies are funded based on academic institution relationships, published papers, scientific awards, and grandiose promises. Our company should be funded based on the incredible experience and knowledge of the space and our track record of bringing molecules to the clinic. Our early 'hits' are accomplished in physiologically relevant models meaning that the results you observe in vitro will be functional relevant when we get into in vivo models and eventually patients.
What inspired you to start/run this company?
After 29 years of working in industry on some of the biggest blockbusters of our time, I've seen too many CEOs, Founders, and C-suites make critical mistakes based on ego. My co-founders and I have left the politics, ego-centric, and self-serving behaviors behind. In this environment, we can focus on bringing life-changing therapeutics to the patients who need them most.
What's the best entrepreneurial advice you've received?
Utilize your network. If you're just starting out and have been in the industry for a while, you'd be surprised at how many connections will reach out to their network on your behalf. Trust is key for people wanting to invest in you and a warm introduction always goes much further than a cold email intro.
What's the worst entrepreneurial advice you've received?
People who say 'no' to you will NEVER invest in your company. Persistence, drive, passion, and a willingness to never give up on your mission are a necessity for success. A 'no' today does not necessarily mean a 'no' tomorrow. Many of the potential funding sources may say 'no' due to timing/personnel/investment philosophy. These variables change with time so keep trying different angles......you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.