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Calithera Biosciences Closes $40 Million in Series A Financing
Date:7/8/2010

pand its technology for targeting allosteric activating sites to other enzymes with therapeutic potential in cancer.

"Most drug discovery efforts are focused on identifying drugs that inhibit enzyme function," said Dr. Wells.  "But, interestingly, many cellular enzymes remain dormant until activated.  In the case of caspases, they can be activated on demand by mimicking the natural process with small molecules."

"I am excited about the novel chemical approach that Calithera is taking," said Chris Christoffersen, Ph.D., of Morgenthaler Ventures and Chairman of the Calithera Board.  "The technology to discover small molecules that target binding sites to activate, rather than inhibit, enzymes has the potential to be a powerful and broadly applicable approach to developing innovative therapies across many targets."  

Expert Leadership Team in Place

The management team of Calithera brings to the company both deep scientific expertise and extensive experience in drug development.  

Susan Molineaux, Ph.D., was most recently a founder and Chief Executive Officer of Proteolix, a company that developed proteasome inhibitors.  Proteolix was in late-stage clinical trials with carfilzomib in multiple myeloma when Onyx Pharmaceuticals acquired the company in 2009 for $851 million.  Prior to forming Proteolix, Dr. Molineaux held leadership positions at Rigel Pharmaceuticals and Praecis Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. Molineaux began her career as a scientist in the Immunology group at Merck.  

Mark Bennett, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research at Calithera, was Vice President of Research at Proteolix.  Pre
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SOURCE Calithera Biosciences
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