Casma Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that develops autophagy-targeting therapeutic solutions for a broad set of illnesses, announced that it has raised $50 million in Series B financing to advance its TRPML1 agonist program into development for muscular dystrophy. The Company will also continue to develop its Autophagy Degrader Platform.
Casma uses several approaches to intervene at strategic points in the autophagy-lysosome system to improve the cellular process of enhancing membrane repair and clearing out unwanted proteins, aggregates, organelles and invading pathogens.
The lysosomal calcium channel TRPML1 (MCOLN1) is a multistep positive regulator of autophagy. TRPML1 induces autophagosome biogenesis and contributes to upregulate autophagic genes by inducing the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor EB (TFEB). TRPML1 has essential roles in plasma membrane remodeling and repair by controlling Ca(2+)-regulated exocytosis of lysosomes.
Autophagy Degrader Platform is a novel approach for the degradation of multiple disease-causing targets. The autophagy system is able to degrade disease targets substantially larger and more diverse than those that rely on E3 ligase-based or proteasomal degradation approaches.
Image by Artem Kondratskyi