Australian collaboration and AU$10m investment fuels Ankere Therapeutics’ efforts to target inflammatory lung conditions
May 3, 2022
Australian biotech company, Ankere Therapeutics (‘Ankere’), has launched with AU$10 million seed investment to develop new therapies which target inflammatory diseases, particularly those affecting the lung.
The funding round was jointly led by IP Group and Brandon Capital, through Brandon BioCatalyst, and will support the company through its pre-clinical development and into clinical trials.
Ankere aims to develop new therapies for inflammatory lung disease, based on its proprietary small molecule chemistry. Ankere is harnessing research from a collaboration between Associate Professor Bernard Flynn of Monash University’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Professor Stuart Pitson of University of South Australia’s Centre for Cancer Biology, and has operations in both Melbourne and Adelaide.
Prof Pitson, a world leader in inflammatory cell signalling and Chief Scientific Officer at Ankere says: “Ankere is an example of how a strong partnership between researchers with a shared area of focus has the potential to address the most pressing health concerns.”
“The combination of research, expertise and capital at Ankere, will support the project to advance its highly promising discovery which has the potential to lead to new therapies targeting inflammation.”
Ankere’s CEO and Research Director, A/Prof Flynn, says: “We are excited to be developing disease modifying therapies that have the potential to have a real global impact.”
Dr Melissa McBurnie, Partner at Brandon Capital and Ankere Director, says: “We’re excited to co-lead on this investment with IP Group, we’re aligned with a strong focus on the life sciences and backing the best biomedical innovations.”
“Collaboration is at the heart of the Brandon BioCatalyst model, we know that new therapies require different expert collaborators along the development path from the lab all the way through to patients in the clinic.”
Dr Siro Perez, Head of Life Sciences at IP Group Australia and Ankere Director, says: “Ankere demonstrates what is possible when researchers from leading research centres come together.”
“We are delighted to be working with the Ankere team and Brandon Capital to support this breakthrough research that has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people with chronic inflammatory conditions around the world. We are looking forward to sharing Ankere’s progress as they advance towards the clinic.”
Ankere is an Arrernte (central Australian Indigenous) word meaning spinifex wax which is used in traditional medicines. The use of the name is acknowledgement of Ankere’s Australian heritage and passion for better health outcomes. A/Prof Flynn received permission to use this word from the Arrernte culture centre, Akeyulerre, in Alice Springs.
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About Ankere Therapeutics
Ankere Therapeutics ‘Ankere’ is venture-backed company focused on developing new pharmaceutical agents that target inflammatory conditions, particularly those of the lung. The company was founded by Associate Professor Bernard Flynn Monash University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) and Professor Stuart Pitson (University of South Australia) and, built on decades of research. Ankere is striving to develop transformative therapies based on excellent science that will enable people to live long and healthy lives.
About Brandon BioCatalyst and Brandon Capital
Brandon Capital is Australasia’s leading life science venture capital firm, with a strong global presence supported by key partnerships and team members across the US and UK. From early-stage seed investment through to expansion capital, Brandon Capital supports life science companies from proof-of-concept through to commercialisation.
Managed by Brandon Capital, Brandon BioCatalyst is a unique collaboration of over 50 leading medical research institutes, investors, and government united by a single purpose: progressing the next generation of medical therapies and technology which improve health and save lives.
About IP Group
IP Group develops world-changing science and technology businesses across life sciences, technology and cleantech. The Group has a strong track record of success, having been the founder investor in a number of high-profile companies including Oxford Nanopore Technologies plc. In Australia and New Zealand, IP Group works in close partnership with the Go8 Universities and the University of Auckland to identify ground-breaking technologies rooted in hard science, which have the most promising commercial potential. IP Group is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the code IPO. For more information, please visit our website at www.ipgroupanz.com
About the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS)
The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences is a dynamic, innovative and ambitious research institute, comprising over 400 scientists engaged in research in drug discovery, design, delivery and use. As part of the top ranked Pharmacy faculty in the Asia Pacific, MIPS’ therapeutic strengths lie in neuroscience and mental health, cardiovascular and metabolic health and global health. The team at MIPS is committed to research translation and have made major contributions to collaborative drug discovery programs that have progressed more than 30 novel drug candidates into clinical development.
About the Centre for Cancer Biology
Based in Adelaide, South Australia, the Centre for Cancer Biology is a Medical Research Institute which carries out a world-class program of innovative research, making breakthrough discoveries in the fundamental causes of cancer, and translating these discoveries into new ways to prevent and treat this group of diseases. The CCB is an alliance between SA Pathology and the University of South Australia and boasts the largest concentration of cancer research in South Australia. The CCB is a member of Brandon BioCatalyst and the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI).