Tuesday 7 April 2015
PhoreMost (www.phoremost.com), a Cambridge-based biopharmaceutical company, has raised £4m in an A round of equity and grant funding, of which the equity is led by Amadeus Capital Partners and Abcam founder, Jonathan Milner. Cambridge Enterprise and angels have also participated in the funding.
There has been considerable progress in identifying hundreds of underlying genetic causes in cancer and other human diseases over the last 10-years. However, most of these new candidate drug targets are not impacted by current drug discovery technologies, and they are seen as “undruggable”.
PhoreMost has developed a screening platform called ‘SiteSeeker’, which can identify cryptic druggable sites on these targets,and ways in which they can be rapidly drugged with novel small-molecule therapies. Aligned with this technology is a wide experience in developing and screening live cells to identify and validate key disease targets and novel candidate therapeutics to them. In this way, PhoreMost will be uniquely placed to deliver a pipeline of highly selective and patient-specific drugs for cancer and other conditions currently lacking therapeutic options. The company will also develop ways in which to apply such treatments cost-effectively.
PhoreMost is founded and managed by a highly experienced commercial team, supported by world-renowned experts in oncology, biochemistry and drug discovery. Dr Chris Torrance, co-founder and CEO, was a founder of Horizon Discovery (LSE: HZD), which completed its IPO in March 2014, raising £37.8 million. His co-founder, Ashok Venkitaraman, is the Ursula Zoellner Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Cancer Unit and well-known for his work on breast cancer.
Much of the work to validate PhoreMost’s approach in discovering the chemical probes to validate targets has been carried out in Professor Venkitaraman’s laboratory in Cambridge.
Chris Torrance says: “We are thrilled to have the backing of such a knowledgeable group of investors including Jonathan Milner, Amadeus and Cambridge Enterprise, who all share our passion for translating advances in human genetics into a more effective range of new ‘precision medicines’. Our platform will address these bottlenecks in current drug discovery and, thus, potentially open new therapeutic avenues for a range of intractable diseases.”
Hermann Hauser at Amadeus, who joins PhoreMost’s Board of Directors, adds: “Pinpointing the causes of disease will enable us to pinpoint therapies and PhoreMost’s work is at the forefront of protein analysis and modulation. We are delighted to be able to support such a distinguished team in developing this important platform.”
Advisers on the transaction were Cooley (UK) LLP for the company.
For further information, please contact: Chantal Ligertwood, PR for Amadeus, firstname.lastname@example.org or 07976 229 210
Amadeus Capital Partners is a leading technology investor. Since its inception in 1997 the firm has raised over $1bn for investment and backed more than 90 companies in the software, mobile, internet, cyber security and medical technology sectors. The investment team is global (UK, Sweden, USA, India and South Africa), has deep experience in technology and invests in high-growth companies at all stages of development, from seed and early stage to pre-IPO. Major businesses built by Amadeus include CSR (LSE:CSR), a connectivity, audio, imaging and location semiconductor company; Solexa, the developer of next generation genetic analysis systems, merged into Illumina (ILMN) to create the world leader in gene-sequencing technology, Octo Telematics, the global leader in insurance telematics services acquired by Renova Group; and Transmode (ST:TRMO), an optical networking solutions business.