Ruga emerges from stealth mode with new name, location and $20M

Ruga has been awarded a $20 million grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas for work on its early-stage candidate Aravive-S6.

Ruga has fully uncloaked today and rebrands as Aravive Biologics as it also moves its ops to Houston, Texas, and out of the Bay Area.

This also comes as the preclinical company was awarded a $20 million grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, which will be put toward work on its early-stage candidate Aravive-S6, a potential med for certain blood cancers as well as for ovarian, pancreatic and breast cancers.

Aravive-S6 is a soluble Fc-fusion protein designed to block the activation of the GAS6-AXL signaling pathway by serving as a decoy that prevents the binding of GAS6 to the AXL receptor on the surface of tumor cells. 

The AXL receptor is designed to act as a “survival switch,” a key driver of invasiveness and metastasis, and a regulator of resistance to chemo drugs, the biotech explained.

“We are very pleased to be selected to receive this significant funding from CPRIT and look forward to building our business in Houston’s Texas Medical Center,” said Ray Tabibiazar, president and CEO of Aravive Biologics.

“Houston’s vibrant biomedical community is home to many of the top cancer researchers in the United States, including noted experts on AML, our lead hematologic cancer indication. We look forward to accessing this outstanding expertise and growing our presence within the local biomedical community as we advance Aravive-S6 into clinical trials.”