Domainex, a UK-based drug discovery company, has raised £1.5m ($2m) to accelerate research from investors including University College London Business (UCLB). The firm had a first close in December, which was also joined in participation by venture firm Bury Fitzwilliam-Lay and Partners and led by Longbow Capital. A second close is planned in April for the Cambridge, UK-based firm with Longbow Capital leading the round. Longbow previously led a £718,000 round in Domainex in 2008, which was joined by YFM Private Equity. Eddy Littler, Domainex chief executive officer, said that bigger pharma firms were talking to Domainex: “Over the last year Domainex’s programmes targeting TBK1/IKKe have made great strides, showing utility in cancer and also potential in many inflammatory diseases. “We are now approaching the selection of a clinical candidate and some of the investment will be used to ensure we move this programme forward to an out-licensing deal with a pharma partner. “The majority of the investment will be used to progress our epigenetics portfolio targeting lysine methyltransferases. With the increased strength of the service business and the additional investment, Domainex’s resources should be sufficient to deliver a number of exciting clinical drug candidates that larger pharmaceutical companies are interested in.”

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