Warwick-based biotech raises £6.2m to develop synthetic biology platform

NanoSyrinx

Coventry-based biotech company 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.

The company will use this investment to fully investigate the applications of its technology across a range of therapeutic indications and novel modalities. Proof-of-concept studies both for in vivo active pharmaceutical delivery and ex vivo cell engineering will be undertaken to better understand the optimal clinical targets and to build a pipeline of programmes to take forward in the next phase of growth.

Dr Joe Healey, CEO of NanoSyrinx, said: “We’re thrilled that all our current investors have recognised the tremendous progress made by the company in 2020 and have chosen to continue supporting us. It is also a pleasure to welcome Octopus, IQ Capital and Jonathan Milner to the syndicate and we’re delighted to be working together. This investment will help us develop our approach to best target those therapeutic areas where we can make the biggest impact.”

Dr Uzma Choudry, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, commented: “Targeting diseased cells without affecting healthy cells is the holy grail of medicine. That’s why we’re so excited to be backing the brilliant NanoSyrinx team in developing their targeted (biologics) delivery platform to treat disease. The initial applications of this technology will be the cell and gene therapy space, where we could see it being used to create highly effective cancer treatments with significantly reduced side effects. The opportunity is enormous and we are looking forward to working with Joe and the team to help make NanoSyrinx’s vision a reality.”

Dr Arnaud Autret, Investment Principal at M Ventures, said: “NanoSyrinx has made very good progress since our pre-seed investment and we are excited to continue backing the NanoSyrinx team and to welcome strong new investors. This new raise will support further developments of this truly differentiated approach in the field of non-viral delivery systems for cell and gene therapy, a high-growth market.”

NanoSyrinx Ltd was founded in 2020 to develop a fully customisable genetic platform that selectively delivers peptide and protein payloads directly to the cytosol of targeted cells. It was first identified by the Waterfield Lab based at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick.