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PolyProx Therapeutics raises £3.4m seed financing to validate novel class of drugs to treat cancer

02 March 2020

PolyProx Therapeutics raises an additional £1 million seed financing from new investor, LifeArc, to validate polyproxin® drug leads in oncology

Cambridge, UK, 02 March 2020: PolyProx Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer, today announces that it has raised an additional £1 million seed capital from new investor, LifeArc.

The additional funding will be used to deliver in vivo proof of concept data for polyproxin® molecule leads against two oncology drug targets. This data will form the basis for Series A financing in 2021.  LifeArc joins existing investors, Cambridge Innovation Capital, RT Capital and Cambridge Enterprise.

PolyProx Therapeutics is developing polyproxin® molecules that target and remove disease-causing proteins using the natural degradation machineries contained within the cell. Its initial focus is to develop polyproxin® molecule candidates for use in the treatment of cancers, targeting aberrant proteins that have previously proven difficult to target using conventional drug classes, such as small molecules or monoclonal antibodies.

A spin out from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge, PolyProx Therapeutics is based on over a decade of research and intellectual property from Founder Professor Laura Itzhaki’s laboratory. Serial Cambridge biotech entrepreneurs Kevin Moulder (Chief Operating Officer) and Andrew Sandham (Executive Chairman), lead the team.

Independent medical research charity, LifeArc, is focused on translation; helping to turn promising science into benefits for patients by advancing medical research towards patient treatments and diagnostics. LifeArc’s investment in PolyProx Therapeutics has been made via the LifeArc Seed Fund, a £25 million fund focused predominantly on opportunities in the UK with the objective of optimising the chances of bringing transformative science to the clinic.

Enrique Millan, Investment Principal, LifeArc Seed Fund, who will sit on the PolyProx Therapeutics board commented: “LifeArc’s Seed Fund was established to help translate promising medical research into patient benefit. We are excited to be working with the PolyProx team on the development of a novel, first-in-class therapeutic modality that could potentially address some of the challenges in cancer treatment.”

Andrew Sandham, Executive Chairman, PolyProx Therapeutics added: “We are delighted to welcome LifeArc as an investor which enables us to expand our drug discovery resources following our recent move to new laboratories in Cambridge.  We have made exciting progress on our polyproxin® drug discovery projects in oncology and look forward to sharing proof of concept data with prospective investors and partners later this year.”

 

 

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Notes to Editors

About PolyProx Therapeutics

PolyProx Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel biopharmaceuticals, called polyproxin® molecules, for the treatment of cancer. Incorporated in November 2018, the company is a spin-out from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge by co-founders Professor Laura Itzhaki, Dr Albert Perez-Riba and Dr Pamela Rowling. PolyProx Therapeutics is based at the Babraham Research Campus.

For more information please visit: www.polyprox.com

 

About LifeArc

LifeArc is a self-funded medical research charity. Our mission is to advance translation of early science into health care treatments or diagnostics that can be taken through to full development and made available to patients. We have been doing this for more than 25 years and our work has resulted in a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance and four licensed medicines.

Our success allows us to explore new approaches to stimulate and fund translation. We have our own drug discovery and diagnostics development facilities, supported by experts in technology transfer and intellectual property who also provide services to other organisations. Our model is built on collaboration, and we partner with a broad range of groups including medical research charities, research organisations, industry and academic scientists. We are motivated by patient need and scientific opportunity.

Two funds help us to invest in external projects for the benefit of patients: our Philanthropic Fund provides grants to support medical research projects focused on the translation of rare diseases research and our Seed Fund is aimed at start-up companies focused on developing new therapeutics and biological modalities.

Find out more about our work on www.lifearc.org or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

About Cambridge Enterprise

Part of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Enterprise supports academics, researchers, staff and students in achieving knowledge transfer and research impact. We do this by helping innovators, experts and entrepreneurs use commercial avenues to develop their ideas and expertise for the benefit of society, the economy, themselves and the University.

Liaising with organisations both locally and globally, we offer expert advice and support in commercialisation and social enterprise, including help with academic consultancy services, the protection, development and licensing of ideas, new company and social enterprise creation, and seed funding.

For more information, please visit: www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk

 

About Cambridge Innovation Capital

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) is a venture capital investor focused on intellectual property rich technology and life science businesses in the Cambridge ecosystem. CIC is committed to building leading businesses from brilliant technologies. It combines a unique relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links to enable visionaries to build global, category-leading companies.

For more information please visit www.cic.vc or follow us on Twitter at @CIC_vc

Cambridge Innovation Capital Manager Limited (FRN: 913528) is an appointed representative of Duff & Phelps Securities Limited (FRN: 466588) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

About RT Capital

RT Capital is a boutique investment firm focused on UK IP-rich technology, with a particular emphasis on biotechnology and genomics.  It invests in seed, Series A/B, and growth stage UK technology companies.