Quantro Therapeutics offers breakthrough oncology drug discovery platform

21 July 2020
Image: Anshu A

Thanks to seed financing from Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) and Evotec, Quantro Therapeutics will generate a drug discovery pipeline, aiming to transform the precision and scope of cell-based compound screens.

With the introduction of ‘Transcriptional Fingerprinting’ to drug discovery, Quantro intends to revamp the scope of pharmacologic interventions in a variety of cellular, target and disease contexts. A prime focus will be the discovery and development of drug candidates blocking the activity of oncogenic transcription factors, a class of particularly promising therapeutic targets that has so far remained largely unamenable to pharmacological intervention.

The company was founded by Dr. Stefan Ameres and Dr. Johannes Zuber as a spin-off of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) and the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), both located in Vienna, Austria. Bringing together expertise in time-resolved transcriptomics and functional genomics, the founders have pioneered innovative methods to study gene regulatory functions of oncogenic transcription factors and drugs in a variety of cellular models. Supported by two Proof-of-Concept grants of the European Research Council (ERC), they explored new applications of these technologies, laying the groundwork for Quantro’s discovery pipeline.

Dr. Dieter Nachtigall, Chief Executive Officer of Quantro, said: “Quantro Therapeutics has designed and set up a new discovery approach and technology platform based on world-leading scientific expertise by our founders and excellent support from our highly committed corporate venture partners. We are extremely motivated and ambitious to start operations in our facilities at the Startup Labs Vienna Biocenter and turn our vision of identifying and developing new anti-cancer agents with breakthrough potential into a reality.”

Dr. Sebastian Kreuz, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Funds, added: “The BIVF focuses on groundbreaking therapeutic approaches and technologies that have the potential to advance patient care in areas of high unmet medical need. We are looking forward to supporting Quantro and its dedicated founders to apply time-resolved RNA sequencing in an industrialized setting with the aim to unlock transcription factors as a highly promising target class for drug discovery in oncology and other disease areas.”

Dr. Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: “Quantro is a very promising academic spin-off company with great potential to lead the way in time-resolved RNA sequencing with a potentially ground-breaking technology to address ‘undruggable’ drug targets. Through our partnership and equity investment, we will further validate Quantro’s approach and hope to be able to open many new doors across a broad range of therapeutic modalities together in the future.”

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