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Teon targets metabolic signaling pathways to restore antitumor immunity and suppress cancer cell proliferation
Teon targets metabolic signaling pathways to restore antitumor immunity and suppress cancer cell proliferation

Teon Therapeutics is a clinical stage company developing a portfolio of highly selective small molecules that affect metabolic signaling pathways and pioneering the development of G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) immuno-oncology therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers. Our pipeline consists of first- and best-in-class candidates with targets affecting both immune and cancer cells with our lead candidate being evaluated in clinical trials.

Our Science

Cancer immunotherapies have demonstrated clinical efficacy in different types of cancer. However, many tumors show significant resistance to checkpoint blockade presumably due to insufficient rectification of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) and the limited reinvigoration of antitumor immunity.

Teon takes a unique approach to improve the TME and reinvigorate anticancer immunity:

  1. Targeting key GPCRs and enzymes in the TME that are upregulated on immune cells and cancer cells

  2. Developing a synergistic pipeline of first-in-class and best-in-class compounds across the TME metabolic signaling pathways

TME (Tumor Microenvironment)

Teon can antagonize metabolic pathways that suppress antitumor immunity and promote cancer cell proliferation

The immunosuppressive state of the TME is regulated by the metabolic activity of cancer cells. Rapidly proliferating cancer cells require high levels of energy and therefore metabolic reprogramming has emerged as a key feature for cancer survival under hypoxia, stress and limited nutrient availability. Metabolic reprogramming generates large amount of metabolites that not only alter the TME, adversely affect the survival and function of immune cells but also directly stimulate cancer cell proliferation. The common feature of this metabolic reprogramming is that cancer cells switch their glucose metabolism toward “aerobic glycolysis” (Warburg effect), thus decreasing glucose availability and increasing lactic acid in the TME. The hypoxic, glucose-deprived and lactic acid-enriched TME impairs T cell function and thus antitumor immune response. Metabolic stress leads to the release of the danger signal molecule ATP into the TME. ATP is rapidly converted to adenosine, which activates adenosine receptors (A2A and A2B) on immune cells and cancer cells and consequently inhibits immune function and promotes cancer cell survival. Aberrant lipogenesis is another key feature of metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells. While lipids provide additional energy required by proliferating tumor cells, their metabolites, such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), can dampen the function of immune cells through activation of EP4 receptors.

Pipeline & Clinical Trials


Candidate Target Best or 1st‑in‑Class Indications Discovery Pre-clinical IND Phase 1/2
TT-702 A2B Receptor Antagonist Solid Tumors        
TT-816 UDT1 Small Molecule Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Solid Tumors      
TT-038 EP4 Receptor Antagonist TBA    
TT-228 A2A Receptor Antagonist TBA    
TT-373 UDT2 Metabolic Transport Inhibitor TBA    

Clinical Trials

Our first clinical program is evaluating our first-in-class, oral adenosine A2B receptor antagonist, TT-702, in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with a range of difficult-to-treat cancers.

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Serge Messerlian

Chief Executive Officer

Alan Colowick, MD, MPH

Executive Chairman

Lina Yao, MD, PhD

Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Robert Sikorski, MD, PhD

Chief Medical Officer

Benson Fong

VP, Finance

Elfatih Elzein, PhD

VP, Chemistry & Early Development

Peter Fan, PhD

VP, Biology

Jim Liu, PhD

VP, Chemistry

Sami Karaborni, PhD

Head of Drug Development

Steve Smith

Head of DMPK

Veronique Lauriault, PhD, DABT

Head of Toxicology

Serge Messerlian

Feng Deng

Lou Lange, MD, PhD

Lina Yao, MD, PhD

Alan Colowick, MD, MPH

Glen Giovannetti

Dave Chenn

Eric Small, MD

David Dornan, PhD

Brent Blackburn, PhD

Ivan Diamond, MD, PhD


Senior Project Manager at Teon Therapeutics, Redwood City, CA

Teon Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients by developing a focused portfolio of small molecules targeting immunosuppressive and cancer-promoting signaling pathways in the tumor microenvironment, is seeking a highly motivated and experienced Senior Project Manager to partner with project leads to create project plan, coordinate critical activities, track project progress and timeline. This role is highly cross-functional and broadly engaged across the organization. The Senior Project Manager will drive projects through key development milestones, decision points and will be responsible for keeping the projects on schedule and within budget.

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Teon Therapeutics Names Serge Messerlian as CEO and Announces First Patient Dosed on TT-702

Teon Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company targeting metabolic signaling pathways and pioneering the development of G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) immuno-oncology therapies in difficult-to-treat cancers, today announced the appointment of Serge Messerlian as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors. The company also announced the first patient dosed in Phase 1/2 clinical trial of lead asset, TT-702.

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Teon Therapeutics to Present Preclinical Proof of Concept Data at American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Conference

Teon Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing small molecules that inhibit immunosuppressive and cancer-promoting signaling pathways, today announced the forthcoming oral presentation of preclinical data on selective adenosine A2B receptor antagonist TT-702, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, held virtually from April 10-15, 2021.

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Cancer Research UK and Teon Therapeutics Advance New First-In-Class Cancer Drug Into Clinical Trial

Cancer Research UK and Teon Therapeutics, Inc. (Teon) today (Monday 1 March) announce that they have signed a collaboration agreement to progress the early phase clinical development of Teon’s first-in-class small molecule adenosine A2B receptor antagonist, TT-702.

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