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Actuate Therapeutics in the News

Actuate Therapeutics continues Phase 1/2 clinical trials after raising $21.7 Million in a Series B financing.



Actuate (formerly Apotheca) Therapeutics, a private biopharmaceutical company founded in Chicago as a UIC and Northwestern spinout in 2015, achieved a major milestone recently by completing a $21.7 Million Series B financing round. The Series B will allow Actuate to expand its ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trials and advance its research into other potential disease applications.


Actuate’s clinical lead compound, 9-ING-41 first began its journey over 13 years ago in the laboratory of Dr. Alan P. Kozikowski and Dr. Irina Gaisina, UIC researchers in the College of Pharmacy’s Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy Department. Through their research, they initially identified glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3β) inhibitors as potential drugs for neurodegenerative disorders. However, after realizing GSK-3β inhibitors had the potential to reduce tumor cell survival, they synthesized 9-ING-41 to selectively inhibit GSK-3β and resist metabolic degradation by cancer cells. In collaboration with the Center for Developmental Therapeutics at Northwestern University, under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Mazar, the combined research team validated 9-ING-41, in in vivo glioblastoma multiforme and other preclinical rodent models. “This collaboration was pivotal in moving this asset forward”, says UIC’s Nelson Grihalde who licensed the technology to Actuate.


Since its founding, the renamed, Actuate Therapeutics has been focused on the clinical development of drugs for “high impact carcinomas” including glioblastoma, ovarian, breast, and pancreatic cancers. To date, preclinical models combining 9-ING-41 with chemotherapy have resulted in complete tumor regression in vivo. 9-ING-41 is currently being tested in clinical trials among patients with refractory hematologic malignancies or solid tumors in collaboration with Brown University Rhode Island Hospital, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic, and Sanford Research (


Actuate’s success in raising $21.7 Million was achieved thanks to Series B financing from Kairos Ventures, existing investor Bios Partners, and participating partners DEFTA Partners and Tech Coast Angels (


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