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Tempest takes PPAR alpha into cancer

Why Tempest thinks PPARα could succeed in cancer where IDO failed

Tempest Therapeutics Inc.’s first data from its preclinical PPARα program gave it the support it was looking for to repurpose the cardiovascular target for cancer.

Tapping into the emerging field of cancer immuno-metabolism, Tempest is moving beyond IDO with a target that acts via a different mechanism and controls cancer cells in addition to immune cells.

The biotech stumbled onto PPARα’s role in cancer via an undisclosed academic collaborator.

At the 2018 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) meeting, Tempest presented data showing its PPARα antagonist TPST-1120 induced tumor regression and extended survival in mouse models of cancer.

The target joins a list of metabolic proteins that could be modulated to help the immune system shut down cancer. While metabolic processes have long been a focus in cancer, immuno-metabolism operates at the intersection of cancer metabolism and immuno-oncology and aims to control metabolic processes in immune cells to promote their antitumor activity (see “Raising Metabolism”).

Tempest emerged from Versant Ventures’ Inception Sciences Inc. incubator in March with a $70 million series B round to develop

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