Austin-based Aeglea BioTherapeutics is start-up drug development company that is currently in the process of creating two novel cancer-fighting drugs that utilize novel engineered human enzymes that degrade the amino acids L-methionine (L-Met), or L- arginine (LArg) in the circulation.
These new drugs, which were invested at UT Austin, target the dependence of different tumors on L- Met or L-Arg for survival. This dependence is fundamentally different from the nutritional needs of normal tissues and represents a metabolic vulnerability to selective killing. The human genome does not encode enzymes with the right activities or properties, limiting application of this concept to immunogenic bacterial derived enzymes.
Aeglea recently raised $12 million in new funding in order to ramp up development of its cancer-fighting drugs, and will use the funding to hire more staff and begin manufacturing a molecule ahead of phase one clinical trials. CEO David Lowe, a native of California, moved Aeglea to Austin in order to be geographically closer to UT Austin researcher Dr. George Georgiou in order to develop an intravenous means of administering the drug, as well as to potentially access CPRIT funding.