PsiOxus Therapeutics, Ltd. announced that it has closed a Series B round of equity financing totaling £22 million ($34 million). The round included equal investments from existing investors Imperial Innovations Group (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’) and Invesco Perpetual together with new investments by SR One and Lundbeckfond Ventures.
The financing round will enable PsiOxus to advance the clinical development of ColoAd1, a systemically available oncolytic vaccine, through a series of phase I and phase II clinical trials for the treatment of colorectal and other forms of cancer. PsiOxus was formed to commercialise technologies, generated in leading UK Universities, which were originally seed funded by Imperial Innovations and the Mercia Fund.
ColoAd1 is a unique therapeutic candidate developed using the evolutionary principle of natural selection to generate an oncolytic vaccine with optimal anti-cancer properties. The vaccine is injected into the bloodstream and can replicate in and kill cancer cells but not normal cells. Each infected cell produces thousands of new copies of ColoAd1, which then spread to nearby cancer cells and kills them as well. The approach thus represents a new generation of ‘self-amplifying’ cancer therapy that has both a direct tumor killing and cancer vaccine effect. The first clinical trial of ColoAd1 will be initiated later this year in patients with metastatic solid tumours, to determine the safety and tolerability of the vaccine.
Commenting on the announcement, Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Innovations, said, “PsiOxus continues to make great strides in translating its truly novel science into therapies that address major unmet medical needs for patients. We believe that ColoAd1 can represent a significant breakthrough in oncolytic vaccines and has the potential to open an entirely new approach to cancer therapy.”
Matthew Foy, Partner at SR One, commented: “We believe that true scientific and medical breakthroughs come from novel approaches. PsiOxus is taking a unique path to the development of cancer and cancer-related therapeutics.”
Mette Kirstine Agger, Managing Partner of Lundbeckfond Ventures, added: “We are truly excited by the potential of ColoAd1 within the global cancer market where there is still significant unmet medical need.”
Dr John Beadle, CEO of PsiOxus, commented: “This financing comes at a pivotal time for our company as we move our cancer portfolio from early- to mid-stage clinical development. The new funding will enable key clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and proof of efficacy of these products in the clinic and to highlight the effectiveness of our research and development program. We are delighted to have the continued support of our existing investors and proud to add the support of SR One and Lundbeckfond giving us a truly exceptional group of investors.”
About PsiOxus Therapeutics, Ltd.
PsiOxus Therapeutics is an Oxford, UK based development stage biotechnology company using non-traditional approaches to develop novel therapeutics that address cancer and other clinically unmet diseases. ColoAd1 is an oncolytic vaccine for the systemic treatment of metastatic cancer, which has demonstrated exceptional anti-cancer properties in late pre-clinical development and will begin clinical development later in 2012. MT-102 is a dual action Anabolic Catabolic Transforming Agent (ACTA) in phase II clinical development for the treatment of cachexia and sarcopenia. The Company is also developing treatments based upon the research phase vaccine platform PolySTAR, which combines recombinant viral vectors with polymers to shield them from the immune system, and the research phase adjuvant and immunotherapeutic platform PolyMAP, which combines polymers with synthetic adjuvants to significantly enhance the effectiveness of vaccines.
Dr John Beadle is CEO of PsiOxus. Dr Beadle was previously a co-founder of PowderMed, which was sold to Pfizer, Inc. for more than $300 million in 2006. Dr Michael Moore, the former CEO of Piramed, which was acquired by Roche in 2008, serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
PsiOxus is advised by a distinguished Scientific Advisory Board including the original Hybrid founders, Prof Len Seymour (Chair of Gene Medicine at Oxford University and Secretary General of the European Society for Gene and Stem Cell Therapy) and Dr Kerry Fisher (an internationally-recognized specialist in molecular medicine, also of Oxford University); and the original Myotec scientific founders, Prof Andrew Coats (Norwich Research Park Professor-at-Large, University of East Anglia) and Prof Stefan Anker (Professor of Cardiology and Cachexia Research at Charité Medical School, Berlin and President of the Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Diseases).
About Imperial Innovations
Imperial Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise. Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London; and Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL supported by its collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income. For more information, visit www.imperialinnovations.co.uk.
About Invesco Perpetual
Invesco Perpetual is one of the largest independent investment managers in the UK, currently managing assets on behalf of consumers, institutional clients and investment professionals through a broad product range, which includes ICVCs, investment trusts, ISAs, pension funds, offshore funds and other specialist mandates. Having helped hundreds of thousands of investors, our specialist fund management teams are experienced at finding attractive long-term investment opportunities through a wide variety of market conditions. Never following anyone else’s lead, truly active fund management is at the heart of our approach – building portfolios based on rigorous research, to identify the investment opportunities most likely to provide strong long-term returns. For more information, visit www.invescoperpetual.co.uk.
About SR One
SR One is the independent corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline. The firm invests globally in emerging life science companies that are pursuing innovative science which will significantly impact medical care. Since 1985, SR One has invested in more than 140 companies, and its current portfolio includes approximately 30 private and public companies. For more information, visit www.srone.com.
About Lundbeckfond Ventures
Lundbeckfond Ventures is an evergreen life science venture fund established and wholly owned by the Lundbeck Foundation. The firm is investing internationally with focus on life science companies that addresses areas with real unmet medical needs. On an annual basis, Lundbeckfond Ventures invests up to € 50 million. For more information, visit www.lundbeckfondventures.dk.