For some children with a certain type of brain tumor, treatment can mean surgery followed by multiple rounds of chemotherapy infusions to beat back the growth of their low-grade gliomas. A San Francisco startup hopes to change that trajectory with an oral therapy targeting specific proteins mutated in these cancers, part of a larger game plan to make precision treatments as available for kids with cancer as they are for adults.
Day One Biopharmaceuticals — named for the conversations clinicians have with parents when they first tell them their child has cancer and how they hope to treat it — announced on Thursday its first financing and its first drug candidate. Backed by $60 million from Canaan, Access Biotechnology, and Atlas Venture, the 25-person startup has struck a deal with Takeda Pharmaceutical (TAK) to acquire the rights to develop TAK-580, including certain rights previously licensed by Takeda from Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS). The drug candidate, renamed DAY101, is currently being tested in an early clinical trial to treat children with low-grade gliomas that have not responded to other treatments.