Theolytics raises $7 million Series A co-led by Epidarex Capital and Taiho Ventures to advance viral cancer therapiesBy Amanda Crook In All, Portfolio
Oxford, UK, 7th January 2020 – Theolytics, a UK biotech harnessing viruses to combat cancer, today announced the closing of a US $7 million (UK £5 million) Series A round. The financing was co-led by Epidarex Capital and Taiho Ventures LLC with participation from existing investor, Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI). The proceeds from the financing will be used to progress the company’s pipeline of drug candidates towards human clinical trials.
Theolytics is focused on creating a step-change in the oncolytic viral therapy field, by using its phenotypic screening platform to discover and develop highly efficacious, targeted drug candidates for intravenous delivery, optimised for a chosen cancer patient population.
Charlotte Casebourne, Chief Executive Officer of Theolytics said, “Oncolytic viruses represent a unique therapeutic paradigm within oncology. Theolytics’ platform technology enables a fundamental shift in what is possible combining the power of bioselection with a patient-centric approach to drug discovery, we are able to address many of the challenges that have prevented the field from delivering on its full potential. Our team is committed to discovering and developing candidates for some of the most challenging cancers. I’m delighted that Epidarex Capital and Taiho Ventures have chosen to support us on our journey.”
Henning Steinhagen, Venture Partner at Epidarex Capital said, “The oncolytic viral therapy field continues to gain momentum and Theolytics caught our eye with their highly promising indication-specific bioselection platform. Theolytics combines multiple key features that Epidarex seeks when investing: world class science; highly driven innovators; and a disruptive technology that has the potential to generate a proprietary pipeline of significantly more efficacious therapeutics. We look forward to supporting Theolytics in leveraging its innovative platform to establish the next-generation of patient-centric, oncolytic viruses, to dramatically improve the treatment of cancer.”
Sakae Asanuma, President at Taiho Ventures, LLC, the corporate venture arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., said, “Taiho is delighted to co-lead this Series A financing and work with Theolytics to deliver the innovative oncolytic virotherapy generated by their unique proprietary platform technology, which should provide cancer patients with the promise of dramatically improving clinical outcomes.”
Dr Kenneth Powell, Chair of the Board welcomed Henning Steinhagen, Venture Partner at Epidarex, and Sakae Asanuma, President at Taiho Ventures as new Board members, stating, “I look forward to working with our new investors to bring these promising approaches to cancer patients.”
Theolytics is focused on developing category changing cancer therapies in the form of oncolytic viruses. The company is pioneering a phenotypic screening approach to the discovery and development of efficacious, targeted candidates suitable for intravenous delivery and optimised for a chosen patient population. Theolytics, which was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Oxford, UK, is backed by Oxford Science Innovation (OSI) and international life sciences investors Epidarex Capital and Taiho Ventures, LLC. To connect with the company, visit www.theolytics.com.
About Epidarex Capital
Epidarex Capital is a transatlantic venture capital firm with a track record of building exceptional life science companies in emerging hubs in the US and UK. Epidarex’s experienced team of early stage investors partner with entrepreneurs and leading research institutions to transform world-class science into highly innovative products addressing major unmet needs in the global healthcare market. For more information, visit www.epidarex.com.
About Taiho Ventures, LLC
Taiho Ventures, LLC is the corporate venture arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a Japanese specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on oncology, allergy and immunology, and urology. With $300M under management, we are actively investing in early-stage innovative companies strategically relevant to Taiho Pharmaceutical. We consider company creation, spinouts and the option-type of investments as well as pure equity investments. For more information, visit www.taihoventures.com.
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