Fighting cancer with click chemistry

Shasqi is leveraging the power of Nobel-prize winning technology, click chemistry, to activate cancer treatments at the site of the tumor. This approach has the potential to expand the therapeutic index of cancer drugs, while enhancing safety and toxicity.

We are the only company using click chemistry in humans and are rapidly advancing our pipeline with a Phase 2 study in progress for our lead product.

Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPAC™)

CAPAC is a simple, yet incredibly powerful approach designed to minimize toxicity and dramatically enhance the ability of cancer treatments to eliminate tumors. The power behind this platform, Click Chemistry, is a Nobel prize winning technology in which two compounds ‘click’ together via a chemical reaction, like clicking a seatbelt into a buckle, ignoring everything else around them.

  1. One half of the ‘click’ reagent is localized to the tumor, either through the physical injection of a harmless biopolymer or with the use of antibodies. Either approach keeps the click reagent’s available for several days.
  2. A cancer therapeutic is coupled to the other half of the ‘click’ leading to an attenuated version of the initial drug. This ‘protodrug’ is infused into the body.
  3. The two halves ‘click’ together within the tumor via a simple and elegant chemical reaction, releasing the cancer therapeutic(s) directly into the tumor and the surrounding tumor microenvironment.

Enabling previously unachievable tumor exposure to doxorubucin​

The lead asset, SQ3370, from our first-generation program is in Phase 2 clinical testing. A targeting agent (biopolymer) is directly injected into the tumor, followed by systemic administration of an attenuated form of doxorubicin , which gets activated by click chemistry at the tumor site. During a Phase 1 clinical study of SQ3370 in advanced sarcomas and other solid tumors, patients we re able to receive more than 12 times the conventional dose without experiencing dose limiting toxicities. Preliminary data showed that there was an increase in activated immune cells and signs of tumor cell death on sequential tumor biopsies.

A Phase 2 study of SQ3370 is currently enrolling patients. For more information on our clinical trial please see

Rapidly progressing our product pipeline

While SQ3370 relies on a tumor targeting agent that is directly injected into the tumor, our second generation agents use a targeting agent that is based on a specific antibody. Multiple protodrugs can be paired with various antibodies, making the platform highly modular.​

Shasqi in the media

February 23, 2023

Shasqi announces the appointment of industry veteran Jean-Frédéric Viret, PhD as Chief Financial Officer to drive financial strategy for Shasqi platform expansion.

January 12, 2023

Our CEO, Jose Mejia Oneto and Nobel Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi talked about Shasqi being the first with click chemistry in the clinic

December 02, 2022

Ron Leuty from the San Francisco Business Times met with Nobel Prize winners Carolyn Bertozzi and Jennifer Doudna to talk about the future of click chemistry and CRISPR. They discussed how Dr. Bertozzi has been a Shasqi supporter from the beginning.

November 02, 2022

Brian Buntz wrote a great article about Shasqi and how we've been working on click chemistry in humans

Media archive