Macomics has closed a seed financing round worth £7.44m.
The immuno-oncology company initially secured follow-on financing of £4.24m from its 2020 seed round.
The latest funding brings in new investor Caribou Property, alongside existing investors Epidarex Capital – which led the round – and Scottish Enterprise.
The money will be used to expand the team and facilities in Edinburgh and Cambridge, as well as an acceleration of its macrophage-based therapeutics research and development portfolio to target discovery capability.
The company has also appointed Dr Steve Myatt as chief executive, while Dr Carola Ries joins as chief scientific officer, following 16 years at Roche. Meanwhile, Dr Luca Cassetta will become vice president of immunology, moving from his academic role at Edinburgh University on 1 August.
Macomics was co-founded in 2019 by Professor Jeffrey Pollard and Dr Luca Cassetta at the University of Edinburgh.
The company is progressing therapies targeting disease specific tumour associated macrophages (TAMs) towards clinical settings.
Its target discovery platform enables identification and validation of novel macrophage therapeutic targets.
The new investment and planned Series A funding round will also enable the company to progress its antibody programs towards the clinic and further spend on in its target discovery technology.
Cancer cells are known to be able to evade destruction by the immune system and TAMs are a component of this immuno-suppressive and pro-tumoral ecosystem.
Modulating TAMs will alter the tumour microenvironment enhancing the body’s ability to fight cancer. The tumour microenvironment changes macrophage behaviour, so the company is hoping to exploit disease specific TAM biology to selectively target these immunosuppressive cells.
Myatt said: “Macomics has made great progress since formation, and I am excited to lead us in driving forward its vision to become a leading immuno-oncology company pioneering macrophage-based therapies for the treatment of cancer.”
Ries commented: “In recognising disease specific TAM populations Macomics is taking a new approach to macrophage-based drug discovery, one that I believe has potential to deliver significant benefit to patients.”
Cassetta added: “I am delighted to be joining the company full-time to exploit the potential of macrophage-based approaches to developing novel immuno-oncology therapies that have the potential to change the lives of patients with cancer.”
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