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Press Release

Context Therapeutics Initiates Collaborations with Three Leading Research Partners on the Biology of Sigma1

Context Therapeutics
Posted on: 17 Aug 17

Context Therapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to creating new medicines for cancer, fibrosis, and neurodegenerative disease, today announced that the company has entered into agreements with three research partners. The company will collaborate with experts in the field of Sigma1 protein and its role in disease biology at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Synergie Lyon Cancer. Context will work with investigators at these institutions to determine the role of Sigma1 in certain animal disease models and to evaluate the activity of its proprietary Sigma1 inhibitors in biopsy explant models, animal models, and human cellular systems.

Context is forging a new and different path for the creation of first-in-class treatments for cancer, fibrosis, and neurodegenerative disease, building on pioneering leadership of Dr. Felix Kim, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, in the allosteric modulation of Sigma1. Key to the company’s advancement is complementing its internal expertise by accessing unique capabilities of leading research collaborators in the Sigma1 field. These collaborations assist Context in rapidly building its biology infrastructure to support the company’s significant achievements in chemistry. Under the terms of the collaborations Context will work with scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Synergie Lyon Cancer as follows. Financial details were not disclosed.

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Elahe Mostaghel, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator): Role of Sigma1 and effect of proprietary Sigma1 inhibitors on androgen receptor in animal models of castration resistant prostate cancer (CPRC).
  • Fondation Synergie Lyon Cancer (Pierre Saintigny, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator): Validation of Sigma1 biomarker for patient enrichment in prostate cancer biopsy explant model.
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Cory Hogaboam, Ph.D., principal investigator): Role of Sigma1 and effect of proprietary Sigma1 inhibitors in pulmonary fibrosis.

“Context prides itself on being deeply connected with a broad network of scientists conducting cutting-edge research on the role of Sigma1 in the biology of cancer, fibrosis, and neurodegenerative disease,” said Martin Lehr, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Context Therapeutics. “These collaborators will help us expand our biology effort and advance our understanding of how best to target Sigma1 and maximize the potential our inhibitors may have for patients.”

About Sigma1

Context is advancing a novel path to treating diseases by targeting Sigma1, a key regulator of mechanisms and pathways that drive protein homeostasis and immune system regulation. Context has built a robust product engine to explore Sigma1-client protein complex differences between normal and diseased cells. This engine has enabled the company to discover proprietary, first-in-class, orally bioavailable small molecules for advanced prostate cancer – our Lead Indication. Follow-on programs include fibrosis and neurodegenerative disease. Context’s programs are focused on genetically identified patient populations, allowing for a “precision medicine” approach, in which medicines are tested early among the patients who are most likely to respond.

About the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Cedars-Sinai is one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the U.S. with 886 licensed beds, 2,100 physicians, 2,800 nurses and thousands of other healthcare professionals and staff. Clinical programs range from primary care for preventing, diagnosing and treating common conditions to specialized treatments for rare, complex and advanced illnesses. In addition, Cedars-Sinai serves the community through its Medical Network, which includes the highly rated Cedars-Sinai Medical Group and Cedars-Sinai Health Associates. For more information, visit

About the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute

Fred Hutch understands that disease research means more than searching for new treatments. We are home to the country's largest and oldest cancer prevention program, which has made key contributions to understanding how diet, exercise and other factors reduce the risk of acquiring the disease. To accelerate our progress, we are part of the Fred Hutch / University of Washington Cancer Consortium. This research and clinical collaboration between the Hutch, the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance enables our researchers to leverage each institution’s strengths and develop premier research programs across many types of disease. The Consortium is among 45 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers nationwide. For more information, see

About Fondation Synergie Lyon Cancer

Founded in 2007 at the initiative of the government to structure research, the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation has benefitted from the vision and dynamism of its founders to provide researchers in Lyon with efficient and innovative tools, and contribute to the fight against cancer. Its four founders are the CLB, HCL, Inserm and the Université Claude Bernard – Lyon 1. The Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation strengthens the links between the dynamic forces of research in oncology already in place and permits these actors to go further and faster. Its research of excellence is carried out within a genuine continuum, ranging from fundamental to applied research, setting for itself the goal of involving industrial companies as far upstream as possible so that innovations can be administered to patients within the shortest time. For more information, see

About Context Therapeutics

Context Therapeutics is a private, Philadelphia, PA-based biotechnology company dedicated to creating new medicines to treat cancer, fibrosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. The company leverages breakthrough science on the biochemistry of Sigma1 protein, the role of Sigma1 in regulating client protein homeostasis, and the role of Sigma1 in disease to develop novel drugs targeting Sigma1. Context Therapeutics was founded by Dr. Felix Kim of Drexel University College of Medicine and Martin Lehr. Context’s investors include the National Cancer Institute and family offices. For more information on Context, visit

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Last updated on: 17/08/2017

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