SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Shasqi, Inc. ("Shasqi") a clinical stage biotech company whose mission is to make cancer drugs more effective with click chemistry, today announced the expansion of its ongoing research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Enterprise Innovation Inc.
Through the collaboration, Shasqi will apply its clinically validated Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPAC®) technology to the development of new cancer therapies. The collaboration will expand research on Shasqi's intratumorally injected biopolymer (SQL70), allowing for an additional payload to be developed and advanced through preclinical testing.
"The separation of tumor targeting and payload is a unique feature of CAPAC that allows for optimization of activity while limiting toxicities throughout development, including in the clinic." said José M. Mejía Oneto, MD, PhD, founder and chief executive officer of Shasqi. "This expanded collaboration will help enable us to explore the efficacy of an additional payload to be paired with the biopolymer activator as we work collectively to identify the next clinical candidate."
Shasqi's CAPAC platform relies on chemistry, not biology, for activation of drugs at the tumor. CAPAC is made up of two separate components: a tumor-targeting agent and a cancer therapeutic. When the systemically administered protodrug reaches the targeting agent at the tumor, the cancer therapeutic is activated via click chemistry, a Nobel Prize-winning technology. Using CAPAC, Shasqi is targeting high doses of cancer drugs directly to the site of the tumor, while minimizing toxicity to healthy cells. Shasqi is the first company to use click chemistry in humans.
"The modular nature of the CAPAC platform creates expansion opportunities with partners to rapidly assess different payloads and develop novel therapies with specific attributes." said Mukul Agarwal, chief business officer at Shasqi. "Expansion of this collaboration is a testament to the collaborative, productive relationship we have built together."
About Shasqi and CAPAC
Shasqi is a clinical stage biotech company whose vision is a world where cancer drugs are only activated where they are needed. Shasqi is achieving its mission to make cancer drugs more effective with click chemistry using CAPAC® (Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer), a unique technology that allows high doses of cancer drugs to be activated at the tumor. This minimizes toxicity to healthy cells, potentially improving the therapeutic index.
Over the past decade, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have transformed tumor-targeted drug activation. CAPAC builds on this foundation, changing what's possible with a modular approach that relies on chemistry not biology for activation at the tumor. CAPAC is made up of two separate components: a tumor-targeting agent and an inert cancer therapeutic. When the systemically administered protodrug reaches the targeting agent at the tumor, the cancer therapeutic is activated via click chemistry, a Nobel Prize-winning technology. Shasqi is the first company to use click chemistry in humans.