Centauri Therapeutics Ltd closes £2.5m fundraising
Centauri Therapeutics Ltd, a biotechnology company focused on the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer, announced today that it has secured an additional £1.2m in funding to complete the seed round, the first tranche of which was raised in January 2016. The participants in the second tranche included existing investors and several new private investors. The funds raised will be used to take the Company’s first Alphamer drug candidate for anti-infective therapies through to preclinical proof of concept, a significant value inflection point in the program development, whilst progressing two other anti-bacterial candidates in parallel.
Separately, Centauri is also actively progressing immune-oncology targets through Avvinity Therapeutics, its joint venture with Horizon Discovery Group plc, in which Horizon will invest up to £5.3 million over two tranches with the first tranche of £2.5m already committed. Centauri’s focus on anti-microbial resistance and immuno-oncology medicines are priority markets for the worldwide healthcare agenda, which are forecast to reach a combined total of £100bn by 2020.
The Alphamer technology is based on "programmable immunity" in which chemically synthesised molecules redirect naturally occurring antibodies to selected targets. The molecules have two distinct parts: one end binds a cell-surface marker on the target (bacterial or tumour cell) using an aptamer, whereas the other end presents specific epitopes that attach to the circulating antibodies. It has been demonstrated that Alphamers have the potential to redirect pre-existing antibodies to the target in a specific manner and trigger an immediate immune response, so removing the target. Centauri Therapeutics’ assets include specific leads and platform chemistry that is protected by strong IP and a family of granted patents and applications.
Mike Westby, CEO of Centauri Therapeutics, commented: “Progress at Centauri on both our anti-infectives and immuno-oncology programmes has been very positive, with the development and optimisation of candidate Alphamers running well ahead of schedule. I am delighted with the continued support from our existing investors and I welcome our new investors to Centauri.”
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