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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
2 March, 2020 - 10:46 By Tony Quested

PolyProx raises extra £1m from LifeArc to validate cancer drug leads

PolyProx Therapeutics, a Cambridge biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer, has raised an additional £1 million seed capital from new investor, LifeArc. 

The 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 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.

Sandham said: “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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