Skip to Main
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 developing a portfolio of single-target small molecules that affect metabolic signaling pathways in the tumor microenvironment. Our pipeline consists of first-in-class and best-in-class candidates with targets that affect both immune and cancer cells.

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.

Candidate Target 1st-in-Class Indications Discovery Pre-clinical IND Phase 1/2
TT-816 UDT1 TBA      
TT-038 EP4 TBA      
TT-228 A2AR TBA    
TT-015 UDT2 TBA  


Lina Yao, MD, PhD

Acting CEO & CSO

Jim Liu, PhD

VP, Chemistry

Ken Horne

President & COO

Elfatih Elzein, PhD

VP, Chemistry & Early Development

Robert Sikorski, MD, PhD


Peter Fan, PhD

VP, Biology

Sami Karaborni, PhD

Head of Drug Development

Veronique Lauriault, PhD, DABT

Head of Toxicology

Steve Smith

Head of DMPK

Feng Deng

Lou Lange, MD, PhD

Lina Yao, MD, PhD

Ken Horne

Glen Giovannetti

Eric Small, MD

David Dornan, PhD

Brent Blackburn, PhD

Ivan Diamond, MD, PhD


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.

Read More

Teon Therapeutics Completes $30 Million Series A Financing

Teon Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing small molecules that inhibit the immunosuppressive and cancer-promoting signaling pathways, today announced the completion of a $30M Series A financing. The financing was led by Oceanpine Capital with participation from additional new investors Oriza Ventures, Lifespan Investments, and former Gilead senior executives.

Read More

Teon Therapeutics Appoints Glen Giovannetti as Independent Board Member

Teon Therapeutics, a private biopharmaceutical company developing a focused portfolio of small molecules that modulate metabolic signaling pathways in the tumor microenvironment, today announced the appointment of Glen Giovannetti, to its board of directors. Glen brings over 36 years of leadership success, industry expertise and board governance credentials following his retirement from EY (Ernst & Young) in December 2020.

Read More

See All News