- Amphista’s potent bifunctional small molecules augment targeted protein degradation
- Investors include Advent Life Sciences, the Scottish Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund and US-based BioMotiv
Glasgow, Scotland, 7 April 2020 – Amphista Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company creating first-in-class cancer therapeutics that harness the body’s natural processes to selectively and efficiently degrade and remove disease causing proteins, today announced the closing of a USD $7.5m Series A round, led by Advent Life Sciences. Seed round funders the Scottish Investment Bank, with backing from the Scottish Growth Scheme, and the European Investment Fund joined the round, along with new investor, US-based life sciences BioMotiv.
Amphista’s CEO Nicola Thompson said, “This international financing provides Amphista with a firm foundation to underpin a Series B round to progress our oncology pipeline to the clinic. Our vision is to create a leading protein degradation company on the global stage that delivers ground-breaking new medicines to patients in areas of high unmet need.”
Raj Parekh, General Partner at lead investor Advent Life Sciences said, “We are excited to support Amphista in its next stage of development. The Company has a potentially unique approach to targeted protein degradation when compared with traditional proteolysis targeting chimera (PROTAC®) platforms. We believe that Amphista has great potential with its differentiated proprietary technology to address traditionally undruggable targets.”
Satish Jindal, CEO of BioMotiv, and newly appointed Amphista Chairman, commented, “We are a mission-driven accelerator, and we are excited by Amphista’s focus to rapidly produce potent bifunctional small molecules to augment the body’s own processes to remove disease-associated proteins. We see huge potential to accelerate Amphista’s breakthrough technology platform into medicines.”
Amphista’s scientific founder, Professor Alessio Ciulli, based at the University of Dundee, is an internationally renowned expert in the field of targeted protein degradation (TPD). “Highly specific TPD is a transformative new modality for tackling previously undruggable targets with high therapeutic value.” said Ciulli.
Amphista’s TPD small molecules instruct the cell to degrade the target directly rather than activating or inhibiting the target protein function. As protein-protein interactions are involved in disease progression, removing the target protein provides a clear therapeutic advantage over simple inhibition. Specifically, Amphista’s platform is independent of traditional E3 ubiquitin ligases used by the field, potentially expanding the available target scope of TPD approaches and should overcome recently identified PROTAC® resistance mechanisms.
CEO Nicola Thompson
About Amphista Therapeutics
Amphista Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company creating first-in-class therapeutics that help harness the body’s natural processes to selectively and efficiently degrade and remove disease causing proteins. The company’s pipeline of novel small molecules that cause targeted protein degradation (TPD) is focused on challenging diseases including cancer. Amphista is a spin-out of renowned TPD expert Professor Alessio Ciulli’s labs at the University of Dundee, and is based in BioCity Glasgow, Scotland. The company is funded by leading life science investors including Advent Life Sciences, the European Investment Fund, the Scottish Investment Bank, and BioMotiv. For more information, visit https://amphista.com/
About Advent Life Sciences
Advent Life Sciences founds and invests in early- and mid-stage life sciences companies that have a first- or best-in-class approach to unmet medical needs. The investing team consists of experienced professionals, each with extensive scientific, medical and operational experience, a long-standing record of entrepreneurial and investment success in the US and Europe and is particularly focused on supporting entrepreneurs and founders to take innovative new medical entities from concept to approval. The firm invests in a range of sectors within life sciences, principally drug discovery, enabling technologies and med tech, always with an emphasis on innovative, paradigm-changing approaches. Advent Life Sciences has a presence in the UK, US and France. For more information, please visit AdventLS.com
About the Scottish Investment Bank
The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
SIB’s activities support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital and loan funding. It helps ambitious Scottish companies get the right level of funding from the right sources at the right time, through building relationships with both domestic and international investors.
SIB manages a suite of co-investment funds including the Scottish Co-Investment Fund, the Scottish Venture Fund and the Energy Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. SIB is also an investor in Epidarex Capital’s Life Sciences Fund and administers the Scottish Loan Scheme, with funding secured from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Growth Scheme.
Furthermore, SIB provides funding into LendingCrowd, Scotland’s marketplace lender providing loans to SMEs, and Maven’s Regional Buyout Fund (MBO) that offers financial support for management buyouts (MBOs) and helps existing management teams acquire businesses from their owners so they can continue to flourish.
SIB’s team of financial readiness specialists help companies prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance.
BioMotiv is a mission-driven accelerator associated with The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, a $340 million initiative focused on advancing early stage breakthrough discoveries from research institutions into medicines. Led by a highly accomplished and passionate team of veteran biopharma experts, BioMotiv’s innovative model efficiently aligns resources and capital to select, fund, manage and advance a portfolio of drug development programs.