Black Belt TX forms a strategic partnership with Praxis Biotech to develop new therapies targeting stress response pathways in cancer.
Stevenage, UK and San Francisco, US – 5 November 2019. Black Belt TX, a company focused on targeting stress response pathways in cancer, and Praxis Biotech, a biotech company focused on the discovery of small molecules modulating cellular stress mechanisms in different disease areas, have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly discover and develop new first-in-class small molecule therapeutics to undisclosed targets which are aimed at modulating key control mechanisms in the stress response pathways in cancer.
Cancer cells as well as immune cells experience severe and persistent stress in the tumour microenvironment. Cancer cells develop mechanisms to survive, grow and spread under these chronic-stress conditions while keeping the immune system at bay. Black Belt is targeting key control mechanisms in the stress response pathways to abolish cancers cells’ coping mechanisms to stress while reverting stress-induced immune cell dysfunction.
As part of this partnership, Black Belt will receive exclusive rights to several small molecule programmes of Praxis. In return, Praxis will receive a minority stake in Black Belt. Upon the achievement of certain milestones, Praxis Biotech has the right to acquire an additional minority stake in the company. Black Belt will be responsible for the development and commercialization of the programmes. Praxis Biotech will continue to support the programmes using their small molecule discovery platform.
Robert de Jonge, CEO of Black Belt TX said: “We are delighted to partner with the expert team at Praxis Biotech. Bringing together Praxis’ expertise in small molecule discovery and stress response signalling pathways with Black Belt's team of cancer and immunology specialists is a powerful combination. The collaboration accelerates Black Belt's therapeutic programmes and brings the company to the next stage in its development.”
Dr. Sebastian Bernales, CEO of Praxis Biotech, said: “We believe Black Belt’s focus of targeting stress mechanisms in the tumour micro environment will have a major impact on the next generation of cancer treatments. We look forward to collaborating with Black Belt’s team that has proven to be able to quickly bring early stage assets to IND.”
Professor Peter Walter, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, and a well-recognized key opinion leader in intracellular stress response signalling pathways will join Black Belt’s Scientific Advisory Board.