Elasmogen – a biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops new therapies using technology based on molecules found in the immune system of sharks – has secured an additional £8m investment.
Elasmogen’s pipeline is focused on treatments for solid tumor cancers, systemic inflammatory diseases and inflammatory bowel conditions.
The funding round for the Aberdeen-based company was led by growth capital investor BGF and the taxpayer-backed Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB). Scottish Enterprise, an existing investor, provided additional support.
SNIB said the investment would allow Elasmogen to continue to develop its pipeline of next-generation drugs through preclinical trials.
Elasmogen’s “soloMER” technology is based on molecules from the immune system of sharks, which, according to SNIB, “are the equivalent of human antibodies but smaller and more stable”.
Simon Comer, SNIB’s Chief Investment Officer, said: “The bank‘s investment in Elasmogen’s cutting-edge technology supports the bank’s mission to harness innovation and will promote Aberdeen as a drug development and innovation center. Elasmogen’s next-generation biologics for inflammatory, autoimmune diseases and oncology have the potential to dramatically improve the health of people in Scotland as well as around the world. »
SNIB said: “Elasmogen’s lead program, in partnership with Almac Discovery, is a soloMER drug conjugate targeting ROR1 in solid tumor cancers. This plays into the fast-growing class of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), a market valued at $2.4 billion in 2019 that is attracting interest as a way to develop more targeted cancer therapies.
Caroline Barelle, co-founder and CEO of Elasmogen, said, “Securing this investment is truly transformational for Elasmogen and will allow us to advance our first soloMER drugs into the clinic, as well as strengthen and advance our exciting range of products. This achievement is a testament not only to the potential of our technology platform, but also to the quality, commitment and drive of the Elasmogen team as a whole.
Following this investment, Jane Dancer will join Elasmogen’s Board of Directors as a non-executive director. His previous roles include Chief Commercial Officer at F-star Biotechnology, Vice President of Business Development at Cellzome and Director of Business Development at Cambridge Antibody Technology.
BGF was set up in 2011 by major banking groups such as Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (now NatWest) as the Business Growth Fund following complaints that lenders were not supporting small and medium-sized businesses.