Drugging the ferroptosis-sensitive cell state

Our Science

We translate our deep biological insight into cell states to small-molecule therapeutics.
Our approach opens new avenues for the treatment of cancer, fibrosis, ischemia, and immune modulation.
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Traditional Approach

Traditional therapeutic approaches focus on cell types defined by location and appearance. This anatomical view limits our ability to understand similarities of cells across tissues and diseases, and provides little guidance for how to target disease-causing cells selectively.

Cell States

Cell states provide a new lens to understand differences - and similarities - in the behavior of individual cells. Commonly shared across many distinct cell types, these internal programs dictate how a cell reacts to its environment.

While they can’t be observed directly, cell states are reflected in measurable traits of the cell, such as its gene-expression pattern or how it responds to drugs. Like an individual’s personality, it is an abstract concept with real-world consequences.

Drugging cell states

By drugging cell states, we can target disease-associated cells selectively. The conservation of cell states across tissues and disorders enables a unified approach to treat diseases that initially appear unrelated.

Take our first target, the ferroptosis-sensitive cell state. First discovered by Kojin’s founders in aggressive cancers, it is now recognized as common to cells that cause diseases such as fibrosis and immune disorders.


Cells in this state are vulnerable to ferroptosis, a form of cell death in which a lipid peroxidation chain reaction destroys the cell membrane like rapidly spreading fire. We target this state to selectively cause cell death by ferroptosis, protect beneficial cells, or modulate their behavior.

Kojin’s biology platform connects complex cell states to well-understood biochemical processes to deliver disease-specific targets, matching patients with the right drugs to treat today’s most challenging diseases.


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Drugging the ferroptosis-sensitive cell state