Relay Therapeutics is a clinical-stage precision medicines company innovating in the drug discovery process with an initial focus on enhancing small molecule therapeutic discovery in targeted oncology.
The company leverages insights into protein motion and how this dynamic behavior relates to protein function. These insights may enable Relay to more effectively drug protein targets that previously have been intractable (i.e. inadequately drugged or undruggable). It believes it has a differentiated approach to drug these protein targets based on motion, which enables the company to select and advance unique product candidates. Relay built its Dynamo platform to integrate an array of leading edge experimental and computational approaches, which allows it to apply its understanding of protein structure and motion to drug discovery.
The company is advancing a pipeline of medicines to address targets in precision oncology, including its lead product candidates, RLY-1971 and RLY-4008, as well as its PI3Kα mutant selective program (RLY-PI3K1047 program). To date, it has not entered into partnerships to clinically
develop or commercialize any of these programs.
Relay initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial for RLY-1971, our inhibitor of Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-2 (SHP2), in patients with advanced solid tumors in Q120. It has completed Investigational
New Drug, or IND, enabling activities for RLY-4008, its inhibitor of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2), and is expect to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial for RLY-4008 in patients with advanced solid tumors having oncogenic FGFR2 alterations in the 2nd half of 2020.
The company anticipates the RLY-PI3K1047 program, its program for molecules targeting cancer-associated mutant variants of phosphoinostide 3-kinase alpha (PI3Kα), to be in IND enabling studies in 2021. While Relay’s initial focus is on precision oncology, it believes our Dynamo platform may also be broadly applied to other areas of precision medicine, such as genetic disease. In addition to the three product candidates described above, the company has five discovery stage programs across precision oncology and genetic disease.
Precision medicine aims to specifically and potently drug genetically validated target proteins (i.e., genetic variants potentially implicated in
biology of disease). However, some target proteins thus far have been intractable using conventional drug discovery tools, such as structure-based
drug design (SBDD). While SBDD is well-suited to solving some drug discovery problems such as orthosteric site kinase inhibitors, its reliance on
static images of protein fragments limits its ability to gain accurate insights into the dynamic behavior of proteins in their natural state, which in
turn limits discovery of medicines with specificity. Its approach pivots the understanding of protein targets from the industry standard, static view, to a novel paradigm based on fundamental insights into protein motion. Relay then hopes to apply these novel insights into protein motion to drug discovery and design, which it terms, Motion Based Drug Design (MBDD).
The company’s mission is to leverage its insights into protein motion to transform the lives of patients suffering from debilitating and life-threatening diseases through the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule therapies. It believes that, by placing protein motion at the heart of MBDD discovery, its Dynamo platform has the potential to address previously intractable precision medicine targets. To accomplish this, Relay intends to continue building a team and to advance its precision medicine pipeline of product candidates.
The key elements of Relay’s strategy are to:
• Rapidly advance precision oncology programs, RLY-1971, RLY-4008, RLY-PI3K1047, through clinical development and
• Continue to enhance its unique drug-discovery platform;
• Harness the insights and data generated from its platform against intractable targets in oncology and other therapeutic areas;
• Selectively enter into strategic collaborations to maximize the value of its platform and pipeline.
As of March 31, 2020, Relay has raised approximately $520 million supported by a syndicate of investors, including SoftBank Vision Fund, Third Rock Ventures, an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Research, BVF Partners, Casdin Capital, EcoR1 Capital, Foresite Capital, GV, Perceptive Advisors, Alexandria Equities, Tavistock, and Section 32.
Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Vision Fund invested $300 million in Relay in a 2018 Series C funding round in 2018. SoftBank’s 32% ownership, post-IPO, makes it the company’s largest single shareholder. Relay was the first Vision Fund-backed company to list this year.
Vision Fund CEO Rajeev Misra hailed the potential of companies like Relay. “You have now people doing both diagnostic and discovery using data,” Misra said in a recent video-streamed event. “The monopolistic power of large pharma companies is coming down and the smaller companies are giving them a run for the money.”
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