Karyopharm lands $20M in Series A

Newton, MA-based Karyopharm Therapeutics has completed a $20 million Series A round of financing with the help of unidentified backers, according to a company press release. The developer was founded in 2009 after Epix Pharmaceuticals went bankrupt and liquidated all its assets. Karyopharm's co-founder and COS Sharon Shacham was a senior vice president at Epix when the company went under; former Epix CEO Michael Kauffman is on the company's board.

Karyopharm is exploring the field of nuclear transport modulators, which plays a role in the regulation of many molecules involved in a broad spectrum of human and animal disease. Karyopharm is developing selective inhibitors of nuclear export (SINE) for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases and HIV. As Mass High Tech explains, Karyopharm hopes it technology can block the mechanism that causes diseased nucleus material to be transported out of cells, causing selective death of cancer cells while sparing normal cells.

"With this financing, we are able to move decisively to select a clinical candidate for our first indication in cancer," explained Shacham."We believe that SINEs represent a completely new and highly effective approach to the treatment of cancers and other diseases with major unmet need. Preclinical studies of our advanced SINEs have shown impressive single agent activity and synergy in combination with specific anti-cancer drugs while exhibiting good tolerability in animal models."

- here's Karyopharm's release
- read the Mass High Tech article for more