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24 March, 2021 - 09:36 By Tony Quested

PhoreMost hits its straps after $46m Series B

Cambridge biopharma business PhoreMost has raised $46 million in an oversubscribed Series B round to accelerate key treatments into the clinic.

The round was led by BGF, the UK’s most active growth economy investor, and included new investors XtalPi Inc. – anchored in Beijing and Boston US –  Astellas Venture Management in California, Trend Investment Group, and Cambridge’s o2h ventures. Existing investors Parkwalk Advisors, Morningside Ventures and serial life sciences entrepreneur Jonathan Milner also contributed.

The funding will be used to progress PhoreMost’s preclinical ‘Allosteric PLK1’ collaboration with Sentinel Oncology into the clinic in 2022. The programme is initially targeted towards Glioma (brain tumours). 

PhoreMost will also progress multiple additional internal first-in-class drug discovery programmes across both oncology and ageing therapeutic indications.

PhoreMost’s SITESEEKER® platform can identify the best new therapeutic targets for any chosen disease setting, and rapidly identify how to develop novel drugs to these targets. 

This has the potential to significantly increase the diversity of novel treatments for cancer and other unmet diseases. Significantly, PhoreMost has recently deployed SITESEEKER towards the identification of novel E3-ligands, the progression of which has the potential to be highly disruptive within the important new targeted protein degradation therapeutic modality space.

Following the investment round, Dr Catherine Beech will assume the chair of PhoreMost’s board, succeeding Dr Milner who will stay on the board as an NED. Also joining the board are Tim Rea, investor at BGF, Alan Jiang, chief strategy officer of XtalPi, and Neil Pegg representing Morningside Ventures.

PhoreMost raised $15m in a series A round in 2018, after which the company expanded its SITESEEKER capabilities in both target discovery and drug discovery. 

CEO Dr Chris Torrance said: “We are thrilled to include this exceptional group of investors in PhoreMost’s Series B funding round. We are grateful for the continued support of existing investors and delighted to welcome BGF alongside strategic investors XtalPi with whom we have a highly valued ongoing research collaboration, and Astellas Venture Management.

“PhoreMost is at an incredibly exciting phase of development, having made tremendous progress since the Series A funding. Our lead ‘Allosteric PLK1’ asset is well positioned for clinical entry and our SITESEEKER platform has made valuable discoveries within the targeted protein degradation, oncology and ageing fields. This funding now positions PhoreMost well to prosecute asset development across these high value therapeutic areas.”

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