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Eris Biotech

Eris Biotech

Our drugs engage the immune system to fight tumors

We are developing cancer therapeutics using small molecules that inhibit immune suppression. Our drugs engage the immune system to aggressively fight tumors. In addition, our drugs have a unique delivery mechanism known as hypoxia-activated prodrugs (HAPs). HAPs are drugs designed to become active in a hypoxic (low oxygen) environment, which is a hallmark of the majority of solid tumors. By delivering active drugs only to the tumor site, we hope to overcome systemic toxicity in cancer therapeutics. Our therapeutic portfolio addresses a range of solid tumors, starting with mesothelioma.

Eris Biotech
Founded:2023
Team Size:2
Location:American Fork, UT
Group Partner:Surbhi Sarna

Active Founders

Rachel Garlick

I received a PhD in Immunology from Dartmouth College and have spent my career engineering cancer immunotherapies. At Eris Biotech, we're developing hypoxia-activated prodrugs that disrupt immune communication to reduce cancer growth.

Rachel Garlick
Rachel Garlick
Eris Biotech

Evita Weagel

First-generation immigrant from Peru. Mom of two boys. PhD in microbiology and molecular biology with an emphasis in cancer immunology, working on hypoxia-activated prodrugs for the treatment of solid tumors.

Evita Weagel
Evita Weagel
Eris Biotech

Company Launches

About us

Hello 👋 We’re Evita and Rachel, co-founders of Eris Biotech. We met working at the same lab at BYU when Evita was a Ph.D. student and Rachel was an undergrad. We collaborated on a peer-reviewed paper and conference presentations and we’ve been friends since! Rachel went on to Dartmouth for her Ph.D. and later worked at a startup developing cell therapies. Evita went on for a postdoc and a career in drug development in big pharma.

Our Backstory

Evita had noticed that a lot of good drugs couldn't make it past lead optimization due to toxicity concerns. The drugs were effective, just not safe. Rachel, working on cell therapies, noticed the same thing, some therapies were efficacious but systemic toxicity was a stumbling block. That's when we started to explore strategies to make therapeutics safer and reduce systemic toxicity, and Eris Biotech was born.

The Problem

Cancer therapies are terrible! It’s a race between who kills you first: the therapeutic or the cancer. At Eris Biotech, we want to help with that, starting with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that grows on the pleura, the thin layer surrounding the lungs, with a 5-year survival rate of <13%. Current mesothelioma treatments not only fall short in effectiveness but are also systemically toxic, and most patients diagnosed with mesothelioma will die within 14 months after diagnosis.

Our Solution

Eris Biotech develops drugs that only activate under low oxygen (hypoxic) environments. These drugs are referred to as hypoxia-activated prodrugs or HAPs. A low oxygen or hypoxic environment is a hallmark of the majority of solid tumors, including mesothelioma, and healthy tissues are usually not hypoxic. By delivering active drugs only to the tumor site, we can use more potent drugs without systemic toxicity in cancer therapeutics.

To develop our first HAP, we used AI drug discovery tools and AI-designed compounds from a library of over 2.6 million compounds. Our first HAP in development blocks the communication between the tumor and its surroundings. This lack of communication isolates tumors from essential resources, and engages the immune system to aggressively fight tumors.

Contact us

If you want to learn more about our science and mission, you can reach us at founders@erisbio.com

YC Sign Photo

YC Sign Photo