Endpoints News
May 12, 2023
Ten63 raises $15.9M to drug the “undruggable” with generative AI
Ten63 CEO Marcel Frenkel and chairman Clay Thorp

Ten63 Therapeutics raised $15.9 million in Series A funding to advance and expand its internal pipeline of first-in-class small molecules inhibiting high-impact, but thus far undruggable, cancer targets.

Despite advances in drug discovery, 80% of the proteins in the human body remain evasive, and some of these so-called “undruggable” proteins are believed to be major oncogenes (cancer-driving proteins). Ten63 built BEYOND, a proprietary drug discovery engine that combines physics and AI in hyper-efficient search algorithms, to pursue validated biological targets that exceed the reach of conventional therapeutic research. BEYOND can look at 19,290,123 compounds per second—which is roughly equal to the number of compounds explored experimentally in the entire history of humanity.

Ten63’s lead program is aimed at Myc, a protein that is believed to drive up to 70% of all cancers. Co-founder and CEO Marcel Frenkel told Endpoints News that the fight against Myc is personal, as his mother died of pancreatic cancer.

“When she was diagnosed, the first thing we did was sequence her tumor. And sure enough, the usual suspects came back,” including Myc, he said. “And although we had a good blueprint of what happened and what was driving her cancer, unfortunately there was no chemistry against those proteins.”

In pursuit of a solution, Frenkel spun off Ten63 with co-founder Mark Hallen from research at Duke University. Ten63 has raised about $21.4 million total since its inception.