UK-listed investment fund Imperial Innovations joins GlaxoSmithKline's SR One, fund manager Invesco Perpetual and Lundbeckfond Ventures, backing the d cancer treatment company.
University-backed and UK-listed investment fund Imperial Innovations has helped PsiOxus Therapeutics, a UK-based cancer treatment company, raise £22m ($34m) in a series B round today. It was joined in the round by UK-based pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline’s corporate venturing unit SR One, fund manager Invesco Perpetual and Lundbeckfond Ventures, which is owned by Denmark-based science research body Lundbeck Foundation. Invesco is the largest shareholder in Imperial Innovations, with a 23% stake, according to the Financial Times’ website. Susan Searle, chief executive of Imperial Innovations, said, "Invesco do not have any right to invest in our companies but are one of a number of investors that we talk to with regard to our portfolio…. We are very pleased to have established a great syndicate behind the company including Invesco." PsiOxus was formed to commercialise technologies from UK Universities, which were originally seed funded by Imperial Innovations and the Mercia Fund, a venture firm. Matthew Foy, a partner at SR One, said: "We believe that true scientific and medical breakthroughs come from novel approaches. PsiOxus is taking a unique path to the development of cancer and cancer-related therapeutics." Searle added: "PsiOxus continues to make great strides in translating its truly novel science into therapies that address major unmet medical needs for patients. We believe that ColoAd1 can represent a significant breakthrough in oncolytic vaccines and has the potential to open an entirely new approach to cancer therapy." Mette Kirstine Agger, managing partner of Lundbeckfond Ventures, said: "We are truly excited by the potential of ColoAd1 within the global cancer market where there is still significant unmet medical need." Imperial Innovations led a £5.6m funding round for PsiOxus, then called Myotec Therapeutics, an Imperial College spin-out, in 2010 with an investment of £2.8m. Invesco Perpetual also provided £2.8m. Myotec was renamed PsiOxus later that year, when it merged with Hybrid BioSystems, and it raised an additional financing round of £3.6m led by Imperial Innovations, with participation from all of the major investors from both companies. The Mercia Fund was the founding investor in Hybrid and had backed it, since its spin-out from the University of Birmingham, according to news provider Birmingham Post.