According to life sciences publisher Fierce Biotech, what sets Tvardi Therapeutics apart from other early-stage biotech startups is that “it actually has the data to back up its science.” The company’s first asset is TTI-101 is wrapping up a phase 1 clinical trial in advanced solid tumors and will soon be moving into phase 2.
“Tvardi Therapeutics is focused on one target: STAT3,” CEO Imran Alibhai, Ph.D. told Fierce Biotech Senior Editor Annalee Armstrong. “It’s truly the holy grail target. It has been the one thing that people have been trying to drug for a couple decades now.”
Tvardi is developing a new class of orally-delivered, small molecule inhibitors of STAT3 for diverse cancers, chronic inflammatory diseases and fibrotic diseases. STAT3 is a key signaling molecule positioned at the intersection of many disease pathways controlling gene networks integral to the survival and immune sequestration of cancer cells as well as to the pathogenesis of many inflammatory and fibrotic conditions.
The company’s lead product, TTI-101, is currently being studied in a first-in-man Phase 1 trial of patients with advanced solid tumors who have failed all lines of therapy. To date, TTI-101 has demonstrated an excellent safety profile and clinical activity. The therapy was found to induce cancer cell death and reduce activated STAT3 proteins in treatment-resistant breast cancers.
Fierce Biotech’s Armstrong notes that everything is bigger in Texas, including Tvardi’s $74 million Series B funding round closed in June 2021, the largest private financing in Houston’s history. Investors are Slate Path Capital, Palkon Capital, Arrowmark Partners, 683 Capital, and Sporos Bioventures. Tvardi is one of four portfolio companies included in Houston-based Sporos suite of in-house small molecule programs. Tvardi was established in 2017 in Houston, TX by co-founders David Tweardy MD and Ron DePinho MD of MD Anderson Cancer Center.