Press releases

STORM Therapeutics to Present Findings on its First-in-Class METTL1 tRNA Methyltransferase Inhibitors at ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies Congress

  • Data demonstrates pharmacological inhibition of METTL1 inhibits tumour growth and reduces tRNA methylation and stability of tRNAs

22 February 2024, Cambridge, UK: STORM Therapeutics Ltd. (STORM), the clinical stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel small molecule therapies targeting RNA modifying enzymes (RMEs) for oncology and other diseases, today announced that Alexandra Sapetschnig, Group Leader at STORM, will present results and conclusions on its METTL1 tRNA methyltransferase program at the ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies Congress 2024 in Paris, France on 26 February.

The presentation entitled “Targeting the tRNA methyltransferase METTL1 with small molecule inhibitors in cancer” illustrates STORM’s new data showing that pharmacological inhibition of a tRNA methyltransferase affects tumor growth in animal models.

Data demonstrated that:

  1. Two distinct chemical series exhibit METTL1 inhibition in vitro at low nanomolar concentrations while displaying high selectivity over other RNA and protein methyltransferases.
  2. Mechanistically, METTL1 inhibition leads to reduced tRNA methylation and stability of a subgroup of tRNAs.
  3. In several cancer cell lines, METTL1 inhibition impairs cell proliferation and cell cycle progression accompanied by reduced expression of cell cycle regulators.
  4. In vivo, METTL1 inhibitors induce tumour growth inhibition in both immune-deficient and immune-competent mouse strains.

Oliver Rausch, Chief Scientific Officer at STORM Therapeutics, said: “We are delighted to present this exciting new work which demonstrates that targeting specific tRNA pathways via inhibition of the novel RNA methyltransferase METTL1 results in cancer cell reprogramming and profound cancer growth inhibition in vivo. This follows hot on the heels of our groundbreaking work on METTL3 leading to the discovery of STC-15, currently in clinical testing for advanced malignancies, and highlights the immense potential of targeting RNA modifications for the development of new cancer treatments. As we continue to advance and develop our novel proprietary drug discovery pipeline, these new findings illustrate the advancements that STORM are making to transform the treatment landscape for cancer.

All accepted abstracts will be published online only in the ESMO TAT 2024 Abstract Book, a supplement to the ESMO journal, ESMO open.

Details of the conference and poster presentation are as follow:

Poster Title: Targeting the tRNA methyltransferase METTL1 with small molecule inhibitors in cancer


Alexandra Sapetschnig1, Beth Thomas1, Eliza Yankova2, Harry Fischl1, Aleksandra Azevedo1, Sarah Bucknell1, Richard Fosbeary1, Sapphire Sawyer1, Sian Evans2, Carmen Livi1, Byron Andrews1, Jack Rogan1, Natalie Webster1, Matthew Fyfe1, Konstantinos Tzelepis2, Oliver Rausch1

Date and Time: 26 February 2024 at 17:15 – 18:15 CET
Session: Cocktail and Poster Display Session
Location: Hall Bordeaux
Presentation Number: 105P

1 Storm Therapeutics Ltd, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge CB22 3AT, United Kingdom
2 Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre, University of Cambridge, Puddicombe Way, Cambridge CB2 0AW, United Kingdom


STORM Therapeutics Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1223 804174

Optimum Strategic Communications
Hana Malik, Zoe Bolt, Elena Bates
Tel: +44 (0)203 882 9621


About STORM Therapeutics
STORM Therapeutics (STORM) is a clinical stage biotechnology company creating novel therapies that inhibit RNA modifying enzymes (RME) for use in oncology and other diseases. There are more than 150 RNA modifications reported and approximately 300 RNA modifying enzymes which represent novel therapeutic targets.

STORM has leveraged its first-mover advantage to establish a novel drug discovery and RNA analytics platform leading to the identification of novel targets and a proprietary pipeline of first-in-class small-molecule drug candidates for potential use in oncology, inflammation, viral infection and CNS diseases.

The pipeline is exemplified by STORM’s METTL3 inhibitor, STC-15, which has received IND approval and commenced its Phase 1 clinical study in cancer patients in November 2022. STC-15 represents the first ever RNA modifying enzyme inhibitor to enter clinical evaluation in humans. Additional programs are planned for advancement into IND-track activities in 2024.

STORM investors include M Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, Taiho Ventures LLC, Seroba Life Sciences, Cambridge Innovation Capital I Limited, IP Group plc, UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. (UTokyo IPC) and the Fast Track Initiative (FTI).

For more information, please visit

About STC-15
STORM’s lead clinical program STC-15 is a first-in-class inhibitor of RNA modification and is the first ever RNA methyltransferase inhibitor to enter clinical development. STC-15 is an oral small molecule that inhibits METTL3, an RNA methyltransferase implicated in oncology and other diseases. Certain RNA methyltransferases are important regulators of RNA sensing and innate immune activation and represent novel immune-regulatory targets.

STC-15 has also been shown preclinically to inhibit tumour growth through mechanisms involving anti-cancer immune responses, such as changes in interferon signalling and synergy with T cell checkpoint blockade.

STORM commenced the dosing of the first patient in a Phase 1 clinical study of STC-15 in patients living with solid tumours in November 2022 and anticipates presenting first results from its study in 2024. Details of the study can be found on​​​​​​​ under the identifier NCT05584111.

About ESMO
ESMO’s core mission is to improve the quality of cancer care, from prevention and diagnosis all the way to palliative care and patient follow-up. It is to educate – doctors, cancer patients and the general public – on the best practices and latest advances in oncology. And it is to promote equal access to optimal cancer care for all patients.