£3m funding for cancer drug spin-out
A Cambridge startup in the cancer arena has secured £3 million investment from Sixth Element Capital LLP (6EC), a UK based fund manager established to manage investments for the £70 million CRT Pioneer Fund.
NeoPhore is a spin out from PhoreMost Ltd which is based at Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge.
NeoPhore is focused on the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapies to treat cancer through stimulation of the immune system.
The investment will be used to build on the discoveries already made by PhoreMost and its collaborators. NeoPhore’s drug target rationale is highly validated by genetic evidence in cancer patients and cellular models.
NeoPhore aims to exploit novel biological mechanisms to directly stimulate cancer neoantigen creation to both boost cancer immunity in patients with unresponsive, immunologically ‘cold’ tumours, as well as improve responses in patients already eligible for cancer immunotherapy treatments.
Robert James, co-founder and managing partner of Sixth Element Capital, and newly appointed chairman of NeoPhore, said: “We are delighted to be working with PhoreMost and to be able to support the launch of NeoPhore.
“PhoreMost’s asset-centric model is well-matched to CPF’s strategy of funding innovative science in order to bring new therapeutic products and technologies to market, improving the care and lives of cancer patients.
“NeoPhore’s novel immunotherapy portfolio is one of the most exciting approaches we have seen to exploit traditional drug discovery in the context of immunotherapy.”
Chris Torrance, CEO and founder of PhoreMost added: “We are excited to have created NeoPhore as PhoreMost’s first asset-centric spin-out, especially one with such a promising new approach to augment the effectiveness and the range of patients that could benefit from novel immune-system stimulating anticancer therapies.
“NeoPhore’s target rationale has already been proven directly in cancer patients treated with immunotherapy, providing a particularly strong basis for developing novel drugs.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Chris Torrance