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X4 Pharmaceuticals raises $37.5M to fight cancer transmission

X4 Pharmaceuticals – a Cambridge, MA company – announced on Monday that it had closed a $37.5M  Series A round. In the announcement, X4 also laid out the development strategy for their CXCR4 Inhibitor Pipeline. The CXCR4 program is quite novel, at least in my understanding. In a nutshell, the company is has developed a series of drugs that will block the movement and transmission of cancer cells, and promote the tramission and movement of cancer-fighting T-Cells within a body.

X4 Pharmaceuticals is developing novel therapeutics designed to improve immune cell trafficking and increase the ability for T-Cells to track and destroy cancer cells.   The company’s oral small molecule drug candidates inhibit the CXCR4 receptor, a pathway which plays a central role in promoting the immunosuppressive and pro-angiogenic microenvironment of many cancers.1

X4 Pharmaceuticals will use the money to launch clinical trials for several different drugs. One of which is particularly interesting. X4P-002, which is currently in pre-clinical development will focus specifically on brain cancers. Rather than, fighting directly against cancer cells, the drug works to, essentially, strangle off existing cancers, blocking the pathways in and out of the affected areas:

Inhibition of CXCR4, a receptor over-expressed in many cancers, is designed to block non-cancerous immuno-suppressive and pro-angiogenic cells from populating the tumor, thereby disrupting the cancer microenvironment and restoring normal immune surveillance functions. The novel mechanism of CXCR4 inhibition increases the ability of T-Cells to track and destroy cancer.2