Tuesday 16 December 2014 … Stealthyx Therapeutics Ltd., a Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) spinout company, has secured £2 million from Index Ventures that will see the company begin development of five new drugs for autoimmune diseases, inflammation, cancer and osteoarthritis.
Stealthyx has developed a new drug delivery system that enables efficient and safe targeting of drugs to specific sites of disease. By delivering the drugs directly to the location of the disease, there are less side effects and improved effectiveness.
Stealthyx, was created by QMUL in 2002 by Queen Mary Innovations based on the research of Professor Yuti Chernajovsky in the William Harvey Research Institute. The company has developed a unique approach to the delivery of drugs. Using this new drug delivery system, drugs are inactive until reaching the site of disease where they are released and become active, thereby improving efficiency. The delivery system consists of a 'shell' to protect the drug as it travels through the blood stream to the site of the disease and therefore provides longer life. An enzyme then releases the drug when it arrives at the disease site.
The platform can be used for biologic drugs such as proteins and peptides, and Stealthyx has demonstrated in laboratory studies that the delivery system improves both safety and effectiveness.
Professor Yuti Chernajovsky, founder of Stealthyx, said: "This funding will be crucial to the development of new treatments for people who have poorly treated conditions such as cancer or osteoarthritis. We have developed a powerful drug delivery system that could be used to treat many common and costly conditions. With this funding from Index Ventures, we can now begin to apply the technology to develop new drugs, finally addressing real patient needs and improving existing treatments with reduced side effects."
"The Stealthyx technology has the potential to deliver drugs with radically different profiles to those on the market today, and Index Ventures is delighted to support the next stage in its development" said Dr David Grainger, partner at Index Ventures who will chair the board at Stealthyx Therapeutics.
Dr Michele Hill-Perkins from Queen Mary Innovation (QMI) said: "The funding for Stealthyx highlights the strength of research at Queen Mary University. The technology has significant potential to radically change how we treat complex diseases, providing real medical and societal benefits, and we are delighted to see the company secure its first funding."
Stealthyx Therapeutics is a QMUL spin-out company launched in 2002 and founded by Professor Yuti Chernajovsky. Since its inception, the company has received funding from the Kinetique Biomedical Seed Fund and the Wellcome Trust and has a portfolio of granted patents and new IP that covers the proprietary platform technology as a novel approach to disease-specific delivery of biological therapeutic molecules. The technology is aimed at delivering improved clinical benefits by increasing the therapeutic window where drugs can be used safely, and reducing the re-administration interval for drugs that are administered at regular intervals.
Queen Mary University of London is the "biggest star" (Times Higher Education) amongst the UK's leading research-intensive higher education institutions, with five campuses in the capital: Mile End, Whitechapel, Charterhouse Square, West Smithfield and Lincoln's Inn Fields.
A member of the Russell Group, Queen Mary is also one of the largest of the colleges of the University of London, with 17,800 students - 20 per cent of whom are from more than 150 countries.
Some 4,000 staff deliver world-class degrees and research across 21 departments, within three Faculties: Science and Engineering; Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Unique for London universities, Queen Mary has an integrated residential campus in Mile End - a 2,000-bed award-winning Student Village overlooking the scenic Regents Canal.
Queen Mary Innovation Ltd (QMI) is Queen Mary University of London's (QMUL) wholly-owned technology transfer company and responsible for the commercialisation and management of the University's intellectual property and portfolio of spinout companies.
QMI's Technology Transfer services include: building a strong pipeline of technologies by identifying and protecting early-stage new technology innovations, securing proof of concept/translational research funding to develop new QMUL technologies and the development of research-derived technologies through licensing and new spinout creation
About Index Ventures:
Index Ventures is a leading global venture capital firm active in technology and biotechnology venture investing since 1996. In the life sciences field, Index invests in companies with disruptive platform technologies capable of growing into global leaders. It has also pioneered the "asset-centric" investment model, focused on investing in single assets with the potential to be first or best in class.
In March 2012, Index launched its first fund dedicated to life sciences. The $200 million fund includes investment from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the venture capital affiliate of the Janssen pharmaceutical companies, part of Johnson & Johnson. The fund follows Index's "asset centric" model, focusing on investment in companies with just one or two projects, rather than with multiple programs.
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