Theolytics, the Oxford-based biotech harnessing viruses to combat cancer, closed a US $6.8 million (UK £5 million) Series A round. The round was co-led by Epidarex Capital and Taiho Ventures LLC with participation from existing investor, Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI). The financing will be used to progress the company’s pipeline of candidates towards human clinical trials.
Theolytics is using its phenotypic screening platform to discover and develop highly efficacious, targeted candidates, suitable for intravenous delivery and optimised for a chosen cancer patient population.
Charlotte Casebourne, CEO 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 are committed to discovering and developing candidates for some of the most challenging cancers, and I’m delighted that Epidarex 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 we are looking for when investing: world class science, highly driven innovators, and a disruptive technology that has the potential to generate a strong pipeline of proprietary and significantly more efficacious therapeutics. We look forward to supporting Theolytics in leveraging its innovative platform to establish a pipeline of patient-centric next-generation oncolytic viruses, which promises 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. He said “I look forward to working with our new investors to bring these promising approaches to cancer patients.”