USD 45M Series B Funding for UK-Based Biopharmaceutical Company’s Drug Discovery Programmes

The pathways that control the behaviour of cells are complex, non-linear and highly redundant. As such, identifying the right molecular target for the development of next-generation drugs is oftentimes akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.

Ashok Venkitaraman’s laboratory developed a novel approach termed “Protein-interference” or “Protein-i” to hunt for new drug targets, which was spun out in 2016 by University of Cambridge into the biotech company PhoreMost, with Dr. Venkitaraman as co-founder. Since then, the value of Protein-i has been rapidly demonstrated through serial deals between PhoreMost and major pharmaceutical partners including Boehringer-Ingelheim, Otsuka, Novartis and Plexxicon.

Last month, PhoreMost crossed another major milestone through a Series B fund-raise of >USD$45M with a group of international investors. This funding will empower PhoreMost to advance its pipeline of novel therapies for cancer – including the PLK inhibitor program first begun in Dr. Venkitaraman’s academic lab – and diseases of ageing, as well as to develop novel drugs that enable targeted protein degradation, termed ‘Protacs’.

Dr. Venkitaraman added,

“It has been very exciting to co-found PhoreMost and be involved in its rapid growth with the successful application of the ‘Protein-i’ technology in multiple partnerships with major pharma. I am delighted that our original academic research has fuelled commercial developments in this way, and hope that the new drugs developed by PhoreMost and its partners will help to alleviate the burden of human diseases like cancer.”