Balto Pharmaceuticals newest addition to UH Technology Bridge

The University of Houston Technology Bridge’s reputation as the heart of Houston’s innovation ecosystem continues to grow with the addition of Balto Pharmaceuticals.

Tech Bridge’s newest tenant focuses on the discovery and pre-clinical development of innovative cancer therapeutic candidates, which ideally would enter clinical trials and commercialization. Balto aims to provide immunotherapy to fight cancer and other diseases through targeted disruption of protein-to-protein interactions (PPI).

“On behalf of the entire UH Technology Bridge community, we are thrilled to extend our warmest welcome to Balto Pharmaceuticals,” said Darayle Canada, program director, startup development operations at UH Technology Bridge. “We are dedicated to providing them a dynamic and supportive environment that empowers companies like this to unlock their full potential.”

Initially founded in California in 2015 by Wilson Xu, Balto’s mission was born from Xu’s research as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. During his studies, Xu developed a powerful molecular tool for analyzing PPIs that underlie biological and pathological processes in cancer and virtually any diseases.

Balto has developed proprietary ultra-robust and high-throughput synthetic biological DisRuPPT platforms to identify small molecule inhibitors of PPIs in cancer through a novel mechanism of “disruption by degradation”. The company has also developed proprietary companion synthetic biological AdaPPT platforms to discover molecular glues and degraders of proteins involved in tumorigenesis.

By focusing on disruptors/degraders of PPI, Balto is developing a novel and promising class of cancer therapeutics, potentially for treating cancer patients that either develop a resistance to or fail to respond to immune checkpoint therapy.

“Among all technology incubators we have visited, the University of Houston Technology Bridge is at the very top of our list. The world-class design of wet lab spaces, offices and conference rooms offers an incredible environment for social and intellectual interactions among companies, students and faculty,” Xu said. “With the outstanding support of the UH Technology Bridge, we anticipate that Balto will focus on its mission -- to discover and develop new breakthroughs in cancer treatment. We are very excited to become a part of the Houston innovation ecosystem.”