Tokai Pharmaceuticals is developing novel, proprietary therapies for prostate cancer and other hormonally-driven diseases.
The company’s lead drug candidate, galeterone, is a highly selective, multi-targeted, oral small molecule drug candidate for the treatment of prostate cancer that disrupts androgen receptor (AR) signaling via three distinct mechanisms of action:
- inhibition of the enzyme CYP17, which blocks the synthesis of testosterone;
- androgen receptor antagonism, which blocks the binding of testosterone or DHT with the androgen receptor; and
- androgen receptor degradation, which reduces the amount of androgen receptor protein in the tumor cells.
The company believes that galeterone is the only drug in development or on the market that utilizes a mechanism of action of AR degradation to treat prostate cancer.
Galeterone was discovered by Angela Brodie, Ph.D. and Vincent Njar, Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, and is exclusively licensed by Tokai from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. Tokai was founded by Apple Tree Partners in 2004, and is backed by Apple Tree Partners, Novartis Venture Funds, Satter Investment Management, as well as other investors.