Agios Files IPO To Advance Cancer Metabolism Research

Agios Pharmaceuticals filed for an IPO this month and plans to raise $86 million from investors to advance its cancer metabolism research.  Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure(ABC2) was an early investor in Agios to support its novel research into IDH1 gene mutation in brain cancer.

Cancer metabolism is a new field of biology that provides an innovative approach to treat cancer.  It is based on the concept of creating drugs that starve cancer cells by blocking the mutated metabolic enzymes that feed them.  Agios has developed two drugs, known as AG-120 and AG-221, that target enzymes known as IDH1 and IDH2, which researchers say are mutated in a wide range of cancers, including brain cancer.  Agios plans to identify patients with those specific mutations and treat them.

Agios was co-founded in 2008 by three pioneers in the field of cancer metabolism:  Harvard Medical School's Lewis Cantley, the University of Toronto's Tak Mak, and current Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center CEO Craig Thompson.

In 2009, David Schenkein, CEO of Agios and former head of drug development at Genentech, attended ABC2's annual scientific gathering and discussed Agios's novel approach.  By the end of that year, ABC2 provided the support that Agios needed to move its cancer metabolism project into brain cancer.

ABC2's annual gathering also provided the opportunity for Schenkein to meet representatives from Celgene, a leading biotechnology company. In 2010, Agios entered into a global strategic collaboration with Celgene.  Agios received a $130 million upfront payment.  In return, Celgene received an initial period of exclusivity to develop any drugs emerging from Agios' cancer metabolism research.

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March 19, 2022 09:35 PM
Proceeds from the Florida Brain Cancer 5k support this ongoing partnership.
March 18, 2022 04:41 PM
ABC2 is working with Matt de Silva, co-founder of Notable Labs, to advance personalized treatments for brain cancer.

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