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10 April, 2019 - 11:03 By Kate Sweeney

Nanna Therapeutics wins £830k to fight age-related diseases

David Williams Nanna Therapeutics

Nanna Therapeutics, a Cambridge biotech company developing novel drugs to combat age-related diseases, has earned funding of almost £830k from Innovate UK.

The finance will help Nanna apply its ground-breaking nanoscale medicines discovery engine to develop novel disease modulating drugs. The company believes its discovery engine has the potential to deliver a paradigm shift in the speed, efficiency and quality of drug discovery. 

The significant time and cost savings associated with Nanna’s approach could deliver cost-effective medicines rapidly, aligning with the emerging needs and healthcare costs associated with an ageing population. 

It also means treating rare and segmented diseases has the potential to become a commercially viable reality, such as Nanna’s lead program targeting MELAS (Mitochondrial Encephalopathy, Lactic Acidosis, and Stroke-like episodes), a severe, life-limiting mitochondrial disorder with no effective medicine available to patients. 

Professor David Spring of the Chemistry Department in the University of Cambridge has joined the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. He brings a wealth of experience from the interface between biological systems and organic synthesis, with specific application to drug discovery. 

He has had a distinguished career, formally working with Sir Jack Baldwin in the University of Oxford and Professor Stuart Schreiber in Harvard University.

Dr David Williams, CEO at Nanna Therapeutics, said: “The Innovate UK funding will enable us to extend application of our novel drug discovery platform and enable additional corporate growth. 

“Our aim is to address the growing need for effective medicines for diseases associated with an ageing population and mitochondrial dysfunction with a more efficient drug discovery process. 

“It is also a pleasure to welcome Professor David Spring, another supporter of ultimately making the provision of cost-effective treatments for any disease a reality, to our team.”

• Mitochondrial diseases are long-term, genetic, often inherited disorders that occur when mitochondria fail to produce enough energy for the body to function properly. One in 5,000 individuals has a genetic mitochondrial disease. 

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