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Novel Dual Targeting Antibody Drugs To Treat Cancer

What We Are Doing

We are developing novel dual targeting antibody drugs to treat cancer by reducing toxicity and increasing immune response to fight against cancer more effectively.


Efficacy of current cancer drugs is limited as they harm healthy cells due to lack of selectivity, and being unable to launch a strong immune attack as cancer cleverly suppresses immune response.

Our Solution

TRIO addresses the above problems by developing a novel class of dual targeting antibody drugs that precisely kills cancer cells, overcomes tumor immunosuppression, and allows the body’s immune system to fight against cancer more effectively. Our novel dual-targeting antibodies are TIE-ADC™ and TRAILBody™.


TIE-ADC™ or Tumor Immunity Enhancing Antibody-Drug Conjugate™ is designed to remove tumor burden and remove immunosuppression in the tumor. A first ever dual targeting ADC that kills both cancer cells as well as immunosuppressor cells to completely remove immunosuppression in tumors. Removing immunosuppression in tumors allows immune effector cells to launch an effective attack against the tumor. TIE-ADC is the first ever drug to attack two tumor promoting mechanisms with one drug. This strategy aims to enhance anti-tumor immune response by removing immunosuppression in the tumor. 


TRAILBody™ is designed to remove tumors with no toxicity. It directly kills cancer cells by activating endogenous cell death while sparing normal cells. TRAILBody has the power of ADCs and CAR-Ts in an antibody. It is the first ever drug that directly eradicates tumors without using conjugated toxins or engaging immune effector cells. TRAILBody is active only on cancer cells and not on normal cells thereby having the potential for no toxicity. This strategy aims to provide effective cancer treatments without toxicity.

What Sets Us Apart

Our dual-targeting antibodies, TIE-ADC™ and TRAILBody™, uniquely address challenges in cancer treatment by selectively killing cancer cells and overcoming tumor immunosuppression. Importantly, our strategy aims to eliminate treatment-related toxicity whilst simultaneously enhancing efficient tumor elimination.

TRIO pioneers a new era in cancer care, combining innovation and precision to outsmart cancer and enhance patient well-being.

Our Pipeline

We are focused on benefitting patients that have failed to respond to current treatments. We do this by choosing targets that are more highly expressed in tumors – compared with the relative low expression of immune checkpoint pathway receptors that are targeted by many current drugs.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)

The Challenge:

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are both serious blood cancers, with AML characterized by the rapid proliferation of abnormal white blood cells, and MDS marked by the production of poorly formed or dysfunctional blood cells. Patients often relapse quickly after standard chemotherapy, highlighting the need for more effective treatment options. Current therapies struggle to treat these cancers.

Our Approach:

We have developed a TRAILBody™ that specifically targets AML and MDS. We are developing drug candidates to be used as a first line treatment, as well as a combination therapy for tumors that that did not respond to standard chemotherapy.

Ovarian and Endometrial cancer

The Challenge:

Ovarian and endometrial cancers have high fatality rates due to late-stage detection, and recurrence after standard chemotherapy. Current therapies struggle to treat these cancers because they create an environment that weakens the immune system’s ability to detect and attack them effectively.

Our Approach:

We have developed a TRAILBody™ that specifically targets ovarian and endometrial cancers. We are developing drug candidates to be used as a first line treatment, as well as for tumors that that did not respond to standard chemotherapy.

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

The Challenge:

TNBC tumors lack key hormone receptors, are particularly aggressive and resistant to many conventional therapies. Immunotherapies for TNBC have limited efficacy due to its complex and diverse nature, hindering the immune system's ability to recognize and combat the cancer effectively. NSCLC, the most common type of lung cancer, responds to immunotherapies due to its higher mutation rate, which makes it more detectable to the immune system. Significant improvement in response rates to conventional and immunotherapies is needed to address the continued high mortality cause by these cancers

Our Approach:

We have developed a TIE-ADC™ that specifically targets TNBC and NSCLC tumors. We are developing drug candidates to be used as a first line treatment as well as for tumors that did not respond to the standard of care treatments.

Our Team

TRIO is founded by a unique blend of world class entrepreneurs who are scientists and operators. Our team members prior to TRIO have developed three approved drugs and multiple drug candidates under active clinical trials.

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Reiner Laus, MD

CEO + Founder

Started working in Immuno-Oncology/IO, even before the word existed. He developed the first cancer cell therapy vaccine Provenge. He has started companies from an idea to publicly traded companies.

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Shiva Bhowmik, PhD
COO + Founder

Was the program leader and is the lead inventor of the prostate cancer ADC drug that was acquired by J&J. He is the inventor of TRIO's core technologies.

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Prof. H. Kim Lyerly, MD
CMO +  Founder

A serial entrepreneur who has worked in the field of cancer drug development for the past 40 years. He is an endowed professor at Duke University. Most recently he co-founded Replicate Biosciences, a self-replicating RNA company that has a candidate in clinical development within two years of inception.

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William Brady
Director of Biotherapeutics

Stellar and a very productive research and drug development experience in antibody and protein engineering that has resulted in an approved drug, Orencia and multiple drugs under active clinical trials. Most recent is the work he did on the prostate cancer ADC drug that led to acquisition of Ambrx by J&J.


Jeffrey Friedman, MD PhD

Board Member + Investor

An active investor and board member of early stage biotech companies. His most recent investments, DTx and VelosBio, led to acquisitions by Novartis and Merck for $1B+. Before venture investing Dr. Friedman was a faculty member at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla. He is a Hematologist/Oncologist and obtained his MD/PhD from Stanford University.



Prof. Henning Walczak, PhD

University of Cologne & University College London

Dr. Walczak is Alexander-von-Humboldt Professor at the University of Cologne, Germany, and Professor of Cancer Biology at University College London (UCL), United Kingdom. Dr. Walczak’s research focuses on the study of the functional interplay between cell death, inflammation and immunity in health and disease. His aim is to unravel the mechanisms on how different death receptor pathways, such as TRAIL-mediated apoptosis, are regulated and how they impact cancer cell survival, cancer-related inflammation and immunity. 


Dr. Stein is the Chief of the Leukemia Service, Associate Attending Physician, Clinical Investigator, and Director of the Program for Drug Development in Leukemia on the Leukemia Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He conducts novel, phase I clinical trials of drugs that target the genetic and epigenetic basis of myeloid malignancies. Dr. Stein led the clinical studies of the IDH2 inhibitor Enasidenib and the IDH1 Inhibitor Ivosidenib in patients with relapsed and refractory AML that led to their FDA approval. His current research focuses on elucidating mechanisms of resistance to IDH inhibitors and the use of Menin inhibitors in patients with MLL-rearranged acute leukemia.  He also leads a variety of phase 1 clinical trials and serves as the lead investigator at Memorial Sloan Kettering for the BEAT AML master clinical trial.


Glenn Begley, MBBS PhD

A prolific cancer drug development researcher, where he pioneered the development of apoptotic inducing TRAIL-R targeting drugs to treat cancer. He was the Vice President and Global Head of Hem-Oncology Research at Amgen where he led the development of multiple molecules including the first-in-class, bi-specific T-cell engager, Blinatumomab, and oncolytic virus Imlygic. Dr. Begley is trained as a physician and oncologist and obtained his MBBS (MD-equivalent) and PhD from University of Melbourne.


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  • Trio Pharma and Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Partner for Dual-Action Antibody Therapy Advancement
    SAN DIEGO and SAN FRANCISCO, April 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - Trio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("TRIO"), a cancer therapeutics company developing novel dual action antibody drugs, TRIObody™, and novel dual action antibody drug conjugates, TRIObody Drug Conjugate™ (TDC™) and Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services ("Aji Bio-Pharma"), a leading provider of biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing services, are pleased to announce a development collaboration agreement to evaluate AJICAP™, a proprietary site-specific conjugation technology offered by Aji Bio-Pharma for the development of TDCs.
  • Trio Pharmaceuticals Pioneers Next-Gen Cancer Therapy: Dual-Drug Antibody Conjugates to Revolutionize Treatment
    April 30, 2020 ADC Review | Journal of Antibody-drug Conjugates - Patients being treated for cancer may often benefit from a combination of systemic cancer chemotherapies. The rationale for the combination of multiple anti-cancer therapies is that drugs that work by different mechanisms may be more effective since they may decrease or slow the likelihood of resistance.
  • TRIO Pharmaceuticals is Featured in San Diego Business Journal for Successful Closing of Oversubscribed Seed Round
    In March, the San Diego-based TRIO announced a $2.2 million seed round, led by local investors SeedFolio, NuFund Venture Group and Friedman BioVentures and also, from Purdue University’s endowment fund and Japan-based Newsight Tech Angels Inc.. The seed funding follows a $400,000 SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant awarded to the company in September 2022.
  • The Endowment Fund of Purdue University Invests In TRIO Pharma's Seed Round
    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Ventures, which manages three funds to support Purdue University-connected startups, has invested $250,000 in TRIO Pharmaceuticals Inc., a cancer immunotherapeutics startup founded by a Purdue University biophysics and structural biology alumnus. The company’s antibody-based therapeutics strengthens the body’s defense, the immune system, to eradicate cancer.
  • TRIO Is Featured as a Connect 2024 Cool Company
    If you’re searching for the latest innovative tech and life science companies in Southern California, check out Connect’s Class of 2024 Cool Companies. We’ve sifted through numerous submissions this year with the assistance of our esteemed judges to bring you the standout selections below.
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