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Unlocking the dark proteome for targeted therapeutics
Funding to Date*
* Data source: Crunchbase
"Our genome makes RNA molecules that current sequencing technologies cannot detect. These molecules encode undiscovered human proteins (the dark proteome), providing an untapped source of disease-specific protein targets that will become foundational to the future of precision medicine"
The entire immuno-oncology field is orbiting around the same 30 targets and are hungry for new ones

Why we invested:

The biggest risk in cancer immunotherapy is the safety: the cancer targets (i.e., neoantigens) are not differentiated enough from healthy cells, and can therefore lead to the immune system attacking the patient’s. When we met Dr. Corey Dambacher (the founder of Rybodyn), he said he has been sitting on a treasure trove of never-before-seen proteins that others have missed because they figured out how to interpret the proteomics data in a way that others cannot (aka probing the “dark proteome”). Among this treasure trove of novel proteins are peptides that are found ONLY on cancer cells, and not on healthy cells. 

The opportunity we saw here was that Rybodyn’s huge library of neoantigens differentiate on another order of magnitude: While others target the small mutations that differentiate cancer cells, Rybodyn has found entire peptides that differentiate them. Higher specificity means better safety profile, and better efficacy. These are NOT computational predictions; these peptides have been confirmed by mass spectrometry. Rybodyn has been flying under the radar since 2018, secretly amassing over 1200 confirmed novel cancer-specific peptides (to date), and is raising antibodies against these targets now. What led us to invest in Rybodyn is the platform’s enormous reach into new cancer-specific biologics like antibodies, ADCs, cell therapies, and other indications like autoimmunity.