Fierce Biotech named Mestag Therapeutics™, a start-up inflammatory disease and immuno-oncology company, as one of its 2021 “Fierce 15” biotechnology companies. Mestag was founded in 2020 by an international team of researchers including Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Professor and Cancer Center Director David Tuveson.
Mestag is developing new therapeutics for people affected by inflammatory disease and cancer. Tuveson and his colleagues target fibroblasts, the most common type of cell found in connective tissue. Fibroblasts can be activated by cancer cells to secrete a thick matrix to protect themselves. Up to 90% of a pancreatic tumor can be made of fibroblasts and their matrixes. Cancer cells cocooned in those matrixes are inaccessible to cancer treatments, but once that layer is removed, cancer therapies can better reach their intended targets. In April 2021, Mestag received $11 million in seed financing, jumpstarting its efforts to develop a first-in-class fibroblast therapeutic strategy in collaboration with CSHL.
Fierce Biotech is an international media outlet that provides subscribers with an analysis of daily biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry news. This year, Fierce Biotech celebrates innovation and creativity in the biotech industry with its nineteenth annual “Fierce 15” selection. The company evaluates hundreds of early-stage biotechnology companies from around the world to name the 15 most promising ones. Companies previously featured on the list include Moderna, Kymab, Juno, and FortySeven.