Viracta is advancing medicines based on its viral gene activation therapy approach to benefit patients with viral-associated cancers & other serious diseases. Viracta Therapeutics is treating virus-associated cancers by forcing them to re-express latent viral proteins that make cancerous cells vulnerable to antiviral treatment.
Viracta Therapeutics, Inc.
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Viractas Kick & Kill Platform is designed as a targeted approach to treat a range of viral-associated cancers and other serious diseases. In Viractas Kick & Kill approach, tractinostat (Class I HDAC inhibitor) is applied as the Kick to activate genes that have been epigenetically suppressed by the virus or cancer. The Kill can be provided by activating drugs to selectively and directly kill virus-harboring cells and/or activating suppressed immune response genes to enable patients endogenous immune system to kill diseased cells, which can be augmented by combining with a range of immunotherapy modalities.
In Nov 2016, Viracta acquired lead program VRx-3996 from Chroma Therapeutics Ltd. in exchange for an undisclosed equity stake. Chroma had been studying the HDAC inhibitor in Phase Ib testing to treat solid tumors but sold it to Viracta because its efficacy was not great enough to raise funds for its development. Viracta to combine it with the nucleoside analog prodrug valganciclovir to treat Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive lymphoma, and possibly to treat nasopharyngeal carcinoma and gastric carcinomas and for prophylaxis of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD).
In Apr 2017, Viracta received $18.4 Mn in Series B financing from Nantkwest. Viracta plans to use the proceeds to advance its lead drug candidate into mid-stage trials for treating cancers associated with the Epstein Barr Virus.