New investments for drug research

November 17, 2020

Brandon Capital, Sofinnova Partners invest $8.2 m in new UK start-up seeking novel cancer blocker.

The Medical Research Commercialisation Fund and European venture capital firm, Sofinnova Partners, have co-led an initial investment of $8.2 million (£4.5 million) into Myricx Pharma, a new drug discovery company focused on developing novel treatments for cancer.

The UK-based Myricx Pharma is developing small molecule inhibitors that selectively target the human N-myristoyltransferases (NMT). NMT – an enzyme involved in myristoylation of certain proteins – is emerging as a novel drug target for a wide range of diseases including cancer and viral infections.

Myristoylation is an irreversible change to proteins and plays a vital role in protein to protein interactions. It is also involved in a range of diseases including cancer, inflammatory conditions, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

The company’s NMT discoveries are based on 15 years of world-leading research from the UK’s Imperial College London and biomedical discovery group, the Francis Crick Institute.

Dr Roberto Solari, a long-term UK venture partner of Brandon Capital, is one of the founders of Myricx, and has been appointed chief executive.

Sofinnova Partners partner Maina Bhaman said Myricx has uncovered one of the most promising new areas of biology.

“Its unique approach to leveraging N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) is pioneering and has the potential to address an untapped target class in humans for the development of precision medicines for cancer and a range of diseases,” she said.

“We look forward to working alongside this outstanding group of innovators, scientists, and investors to realise the full potential of Myricx’s ground-breaking science.”

Medical Research Commercialisation Fund is managed by Brandon Capital. Brandon Capital managing partner Stephen Thompson added that he is excited by the potential of Myricx in a highly exciting field of oncology research.

Carrie LaFrenz
The Australian Financial Review
17 November, 2020

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