Dr James Lapworth has joined Coventry-based NanoSyrinx as Chief Business Officer to support the company in delivering its ambitious plans.
NanoSyrinx is an early-stage biotechnology company using synthetic biology approaches to develop a completely novel platform for targeted drug delivery of therapeutic proteins and peptides, to the interiors of cells.
James is an experienced business development and technology commercialisation professional with more than 10 years’ experience in fundraising, developing, partnering and out-licensing new technologies, particularly in the drug discovery, biotech and med-tech sectors.
In his previous role at Warwick Ventures he identified and managed a portfolio of more than 60 new inventions leading to 6 new spinout companies which raised a total of £10m in seed stage equity financing between 2018-2021. During this time, he also sat on the management committees of the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre and the Warwick-Wellcome Translational Partnership.
In earlier roles, he established multiple early-stage discovery partnerships, including supporting Prof Simon Wagner to secure one of Europe’s first GSK Discovery Fast Track Challenge awards, leading to a collaborative partnership with GSK aimed at discovering new medicines for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Joe Healey, CEO, said: “James has been intimately involved in the establishment of NanoSyrinx over the past 5 years and I am delighted that we have been able to bring him onboard full time to support the company’s growth.”
James holds a First Class dual honours degree in Biology & Chemistry and a PhD in Synthetic Chemistry and Regenerative Medicine from the University of Sheffield. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Chartered Chemist and a Registered PRINCE2 practitioner.
In July NanoSyrinx has raised a further £6.2 million of seed financing, co-led by incoming Octopus Ventures and existing investor, Netherlands-based M Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Previous investors BioCity (now We are Pioneer Group) and the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) joined the funding round along with experienced deeptech investor IQ Capital and Jonathan Milner. The round was significantly oversubscribed with high demand both from existing and from new investors.
NanoSyrinx, which is based at the University of Warwick Science Park, is the first company to engineer protein ‘nanosyringes’, a cell-selective non-viral peptide and protein delivery system. Targeted delivery of therapeutics is an important solution to improve efficacy and minimise potential side effects of existing and new treatments. NanoSyrinx’s technology has the potential to transform the treatment of a wide range of diseases. The system overcomes a number of challenges experienced in intracellular delivery such as cell specificity, payload limitations and manufacturing complexities.