London, UK - 19 May 2015 - Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO; ‘the Group’, ‘Innovations’) has led a £25 million Series C funding round in portfolio company PsiOxus Therapeutics (‘PsiOxus’ or ‘the Company’) which is developing innovative oncolytic immuno-oncology treatments for cancer. Innovations has committed £7.0 million to the round alongside current investors Invesco, SROne, Lundbeckfond and Mercia Technologies. In addition, one new investor, Woodford Investment Management, has joined the syndicate.
PsiOxus is the Group’s sixth largest portfolio company by value and including this round, has now raised in aggregate more than £55 million from investors, with Innovations having led each of the investment rounds. As of 31 January 2015, the Group had invested £9.5 million in PsiOxus with a net carrying value of £11.5 million. Following this new investment, Innovations will have increased the cost of its investment to £16.5 million and maintained its 28.3% interest in the Company.
PsiOxus’ lead product, enadenotucirev, is an oncolytic virus that has been shown in Phase I clinical trials to reach and selectively infect cancer cells when administered by intravenous infusion. The ability to deliver enadenotucirev systemically via intravenous infusion represents a significant advantage over the other oncolytic therapies currently in development that require intratumoural delivery. Furthermore, the Company’s Phase I clinical trials have shown that the selective infection of tumour cells by enadenotucirev leads to the infiltration of immune cells (T-cells) into colorectal tumours.
PsiOxus will now use the new funding to conduct a Phase I clinical study combining enadenotucirev and an immune-checkpoint inhibitor in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. With this study, PsiOxus aims to demonstrate that the immune process triggered by enadenotucirev infection of tumour cells, will enable the activity of checkpoint inhibitors in this otherwise immune modulator resistant indication.
Russ Cummings, CEO of Imperial Innovations, said:
“This is another example of Innovations putting its capital to work to accelerate the development of one of our most promising portfolio companies.
“We are delighted to lead the funding round, which will help PsiOxus’ world-class management team to examine the combination of enadenotucirev with a checkpoint inhibitor in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. This could lead to a substantial new commercial opportunities by introducing this exciting class of immunotherapeutic agents to the large colorectal cancer market.
“In addition, this funding will enable PsiOxus to progress its next generation ‘Armed EnAd’ anti-cancer therapeutic platform. This novel approach arms the enadenotucirev virus with the genetic instructions required to force cancer cells into producing therapeutic agents such as checkpoint inhibitor antibodies within the tumour. This potentially opens up an exciting form of anti-cancer gene therapy whereby the metastatic tumour is forced into acting as an anti-cancer ‘drug factory’.”
About Imperial Innovations - www.imperialinnovations.co.uk
Imperial Innovations Group plc creates, builds and invests in pioneering technologies developed from the academic research within the ‘Golden Triangle’ broadly bounded by London, Cambridge and Oxford, which is home to the UK’s four leading research-intensive universities.
This area is home to many new technology companies through its proximity to the academic communities of Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and University College London, as well as other leading research institutions.
Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and University College London collectively have research income of £1.4 billion per annum and are ranked as four of the top ten Universities in the world (source: QS World University Rankings 2014/15).
Innovations supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas through the licensing of intellectual property, by leading the formation of new companies, providing facilities in the early stages, providing investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate development, providing operational expertise and recruiting high-calibre management teams. It also runs an incubator in London that is the initial home for many of its technology spin-outs.
Since admission of its shares to trading on AIM in 2006, Innovations has raised more than £346.0 million of equity from investors, which has enabled it to invest in some of the most exciting spin-outs to come out of UK academic research. In addition, the Group has a £30.0 million loan facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for investment in biotech and therapeutics businesses.
During the period from admission on AIM up until 31 January 2015, Innovations has invested a total of £198.3 million across its portfolio companies, which have raised collectively investment of £926.8 million rising to £1.0 billion including post period end investments and commitments.
About PsiOxus Therapeutics, Ltd. www.psioxus.com
PsiOxus Therapeutics is an Oxford, UK-based development stage biotechnology company with a particular focus in immune therapeutics in oncology. PsiOxus has developed a patented platform for tumour-targeted delivery based on its oncolytic vaccine, enadenotucirev. Enadenotucirev’s unique design allows it to be delivered systemically via intravenous administration. The anti-cancer scope of enadenotucirev can be expanded through “arming” – a process that involves addition of new genes into enadenotucirev. The "Armed EnAd" platform makes possible creation of a broad range of unique oncolytic immune therapeutics, including oncolytic vaccines that express one or more antibodies (AbEnAd), cytokines or other immunomodulatory proteins, or nucleotide based payloads such as RNAi. The Armed EnAd platform is in preclinical stage, while phase I/II clinical trials are ongoing with the parent unarmed EnAd in different tumour types.
Issued for and on behalf of Imperial Innovations by Instinctif Partners.
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