Toragen, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotech company that is rapidly developing drug candidates to treat HPV-induced cancers with technology licensed from University of California San Diego. In the past two years, the company has raised seed funding that has allowed them to assemble a highly experienced management team and move quickly into a Phase 1 clinical trial with their lead drug candidate, TGN-S11.
HPV is the cause of approximately 5% of cancers worldwide and HPV infections are continuing to grow despite an approved vaccine.
Although their lead drug candidate is TGN-S11, they already have second-generation compounds (TGN-S15 and TGN-S16) and now have a validated and reproducible ion channel SAR program.
Toragen is one of the featured companies slated to present at The Microcap Conference 2024, set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. This three-day conference presented by DealFlow Events features technical programming designed for microcap investors and a presenting company track for pitching and socializing.
History of the company
Toragen was founded in 2016 and maintains headquarters in San Diego. The venture capital-backed company’s last funding round was for $5.4 million, according to PitchBook data. Private investors include Boston-based The Raptor Group.
The company’s expertise is concentrated on early-stage drug research and development.
Founded by Andrew Sharabi, MD/PhD, Toragen in-licensed Dr. Sharabi’s technology from UCSD. Toragen’s first employee, Sandra Coufal, MD was hired as Toragen’s CEO in 2022 along with Cheryl Collett, CPA, Toragen’s CFO, Rick Lumpkin, PhD, Toragen’s Chief Scientific Officer, and Neil Clendeninn, MD/PhD, Toragen’s Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. Coufal, Ms. Collett, Dr. Lumpkin, and Dr. Clendeninn combined hold over 100 years of biotechnology experience.
The board of directors is chaired by Dr. Sharabi and includes Dr. Coufal, Kimberly Manhard, Anita Busquets, Paul Engler, and John Major.
The scientific advisory board includes experts within their fields such as Dennis Carson, MD (UCSD), Ezra Cohen, MD (Tempus Labs and UCSD/principal investigator for Merck’s Keytruda trials), William Degrado, PhD (UCSF), Penelope Duerksen-Hughes, PhD (Loma Linda University), Aldo Venuti, MD, PhD (IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute) and Dr. Sharabi (founder).
Looking to the future
Toragen is rapidly progressing through their phase 1 trial. The company has a waiting list of over 10 patients and expects to complete its Phase 1 trial by September 2024. Toragen will then move directly to the next stages of development.
Tickets to the inaugural Microcap Conference 2024 are going fast. Reserve your seat now for three days of unsurpassed networking and technical discussions of the microcap sector with some of the best names in the business – institutional investors, finance-focused law firms, venture and private equity fund managers, deal advisors, PIPE funds, brokerage firms, investor relations professionals, accredited retail investors and many more. The conference schedule is also packed with entertainment and exciting activities set against the backdrop of Atlantic City’s bright lights.
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