HOX Corporate overview


Founded in 2013 with HOX gene technology/peptide licensed from the University of Surrey.

ADT drug candidate purchased in 2021 from the University of Surrey.

Technology and products

HOX targeted approach
First-in-class, highly targeted peptide,
based on HOX gene dysregulation.

Dual androgen receptor programme
First in class, dual action ADT, represses AR LBT and AR NTD drivers.

Financial details

£5 million to complete first step of small molecule discovery programme June 2020.

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Cancer is the largest global pharmaceutical therapeutic category, with total worldwide sales of $95 billion (including ~$15.7 billion from supportive care) in 2015, $105 billion in 2016, and growing to an estimated $165 billion 2021

Cowen & Co analysts

The Market

Despite significant advances in our understanding of cancer biology, and, most recently, immune checkpoint inhibitor antibody therapy, the impact of current therapeutics on patients with advanced or metastatic disease remains, at best, modest, expensive, of limited duration, and associated with significant toxicities impacting on the quality of life.

The burden of cancer

Cancer remains a huge health burden, and, in an aging population, cancer will affect one in three individuals in their lifetime.

Demographic trends and improved screening technologies are likely to accelerate the diagnosis rate, as 86 percent of cancers occur in the over-50 population.

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Few effective treatment options

Treatment of breast, lung, and prostate cancers accounts for over half of the direct medical cost. The typical stage of detection of certain types of cancer (colorectal, prostate, breast) has become earlier with better screening tools, and outcomes have improved.

The five-year cancer survival rate is now hovering around 69%, up from about 49% in the 1970s. Nonetheless, there remains much unmet medical need in cancer as many tumour types feature few effective treatment options.

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HOX rationale

Our principle focus is on the therapeutic potential of drugs targeting the aberrant biological activity of the HOX family of genes which occurs in many solid and haematological cancers.

HOX genes are master regulators of embryonic development but are relatively inactive in normal cells once development is complete. The founders and others have established that in most cancers, HOX genes are reactivated and promote cancer growth through their interactions with an essential co-factor, PBX.

We believe that targeting the interaction between HOX and PBX proteins offers a novel first-in-class therapeutics modality.

The market for prostate cancer drugs is expected to double by 2021 to $9.1 billion