MIP Discovery closes £7m Series A to advance cell and gene therapies in $multibillion markets

20 Feb, 2024
Tony Quested
Bedfordshire-based MIP Discovery, which develops non-biological affinity reagents to accelerate development and production of cell and gene therapies, has closed a £7 million ($9m) Series A. The round was led by Mercia Ventures. Existing investor Calculus Capital also participated along with angel backers.
MIP Discovery CEO Stephane Argivier

The investment marks a pivotal change for MIP as it refocuses its mission on improving the downstream processing of cell and gene therapies to accelerate widespread adoption of these potentially life-changing medicines.

The funding will drive further commercialisation of the Colworth Science Park company’s novel synthetic affinity reagents within space. It will work alongside leading industry players to develop novel tools aligned with critical applications. The funds will also support recruitment to grow the firm’s in-house cell and gene therapy expertise.

MIP Discovery’s non-biological affinity reagents are designed to support a new approach to viral vector characterisation, viral vector purification, and safety and QC processes, such as the detection and removal of impurities. Viral vectors are a critical component for many cell and gene therapies, and yet many of the current technologies used to characterise, develop, and manufacture them do not meet the required standards for scale, performance, or economics.

Taking the industry beyond the limitations of biological reagents, MIP Discovery says its synthetic antibody alternatives offer a fresh approach to downstream processing for cell and gene therapy developers.

MIP Discovery CEO Stephane Argivier said: “Securing funding for a novel reagents company in today’s investment landscape demonstrates clear confidence in MIP Discovery’s technology and renewed commercial strategy. Our proprietary modelling approach to developing synthetic antibody alternatives has been successful for diagnostic applications and we have already seen very encouraging traction for our expertise in the cell and gene therapy space.”

Dr Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia, added: “The broader cell and gene therapy market is a rapidly growing multi-billion-dollar market and its next stage of evolution is to focus down on technologies that reduce the cost of production and purification to ensure this therapeutic benefit is available for the many.

“Using MIP’s sophisticated and highly scalable synthetic chemistry approach means they are well positioned to benefit from this tremendous high growth opportunity.”