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Radionetics Biotech Firm has Cash and a Veteran Team

Radionetics Oncology, a Sorrento Mesa firm, was launched with the hopes of blasting malignancies with radiation while protecting healthy cells. But, despite having $30 million in the bank, an experienced leadership team, and ten potential medications, the company is missing one thing—a Chief Executive Officer. However, Scott Struthers believes that will soon change. He is the co-founder and CEO of Crinetics, local biotech developing medications to treat malignancies and illnesses of the endocrine system, which produces hormones that regulate everything from mood and appetite to fertility and blood pressure.

Crinetics split off  Radionetics on Oct. 18 to focus on a different problem: improving the precision of cancer radiation. While external radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays, can shrink or eliminate tumors with concentrated energy beams. These beams pass through the skin and other healthy tissue before reaching cancer cells. This might cause various adverse effects, including tiredness, hair loss, and flaky, itchy skin around the treatment area.

The new biotech tries to avoid these side effects while still receiving the benefits of radiation. Patients will get intravenous injections of radioactive chemicals attached to molecules that exclusively bind to cancer cells. It’s a technique that’s already shown promise in a few tumor types, including prostate cancer, but Struthers believes it’s only the start. Lung cancer, kidney cancer, cancers of the intestines, and cancers of the ovaries are only a few cancers that the company is pursuing.

The ten prospective medications developed by the business are radioactive chemicals coupled to tiny molecules that hook onto proteins located on the surfaces of cancer cells but not on healthy cells. These small molecules can be compared to cab drivers in that they transport their passengers (the radioactive substance) to their destination (the tumor). By 2022, at least one of these medications should be in clinical trials, according to Struthers.

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