TORL BioTherapeutics LLC, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new biologics for cancer treatment, has announced its public launch and closing of its $158 million Series B financing.
TORL drug-antibody conjugate (ADC) and monoclonal antibody (mAbs) channels were discovered in the lab of scientific co-founder Dennis Slamon, professor of medicine, and head of the division of hematology/oncology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM).
Her research was critical in the identification of HER2 as a target for breast cancer and the development and early approval of trastuzumab (Herceptin). Slamon’s laboratory continues to identify CDK4/6 as an important target in hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer.
Subsequently, her group led the clinical development of CDK4/6 inhibitors, resulting in breakthrough therapies for palbociclib (Ibrance) and ribociclib (Kisqali) status, in HR+ breast cancer.
TORL builds on a strategic partnership with Slamon Research Lab at UCLA, where the company owns the exclusive development and commercial rights to a promising cancer target-focused biologic drug candidate. TORL’s main drug program targets claudin 6 (CLDN 6) and claudin 18.2 (CLDN 18.2), both of which are currently in clinical trials. The company also expects to enter 2-3 additional compounds into clinical trials over the next 12 months, with plans to advance one or two new compounds each year.
“It has been a pleasure to use 30 years of experience, lessons learned and preclinical models developed in our lab for this new company,” said Slamon, co-founder of TORL.
“This unique academic/enterprise partnership allows us to quickly identify new targets, validate them preclinically, then proceed to bring these new biologic treatments to clinical testing and development in a very fast and efficient way. Our goal is to develop compounds that address critical or unmet medical needs while providing new and effective treatment options for cancer patients that can change lives and practices. There is much more to come, and we are delighted we have this partnership to expand cancer therapy.”
TORL advances drug programs
Leveraging Slamon research laboratory’s discovery engine and validation platform, TORL was founded to promote its new oncology biology with speed and capital efficiency. Since its founding in 2018, TORL has advanced three internally developed drug programs into the clinic and advanced two more through IND-supported studies with less than $50 million in funding.
“Pioneering TORL’s innovative approach to drug discovery and development has been immensely rewarding, culminating in the launch of multiple clinical trials with our drug over the past year,” said David Licata, CEO of TORL.
“We created and demonstrated an original, capital-efficient structure that, despite challenging market conditions, attracted a group of leading biotechnology investors with a shared vision for the rapid development of a cancer drug. With the closing of this Series B financing, we can advance our new to clinic program and existing clinical stage programs to the next phase.”
“Despite significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, a large proportion of patients worldwide continue to face serious morbidity and significant mortality,” said Mark Alles, executive chairman of TORL.
“With the strong backing of our highly accomplished investors, we are building a leading biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of first and best-in-class antibody-based immunotherapies to enhance and prolong the lives of people living with this terrible disease. .”