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Imperial Innovations Group plc has led a £5.6m funding round in Myotec Therapeutics, with an investment of £2.8m to fund the development of novel treatments in the field of wasting diseases. Co-investor Invesco Perpetual also provided £2.8 million.
Myotec is developing a pipeline of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of the wasting diseases, cachexia and sarcopenia. This investment, led by Innovations, will enable Myotec to progress its lead product, MT-102, into two Phase II clinical studies in 2010. The first clinical study will be for the treatment of cancer cachexia, which, according to the US National Cancer Institute, is the direct cause of death in 20 to 40% of all cancer patients. The second clinical study will be for the treatment of sarcopenia, the age-related muscle wasting disease that affects over 20% of people by the time they reach the age of 60.
The Company was founded around the work of Professors Stefan Anker (Professor of Cardiology and Cachexia Research, Charité Hospital Berlin) and Professor Andrew Coats (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Sydney) whilst they were both at Imperial College London.
Innovations has played a pivotal role in the recruitment of Myotec’s senior team: Chief Executive John Beadle, helped form Myotec whilst an Entrepreneur in Residence at Innovations; Michael Moore, formerly CEO of Piramed was headhunted by Innovations to become Chairman. Innovations has also supported Myotec to secure patents for its technologies and assisted with a commercial transaction to acquire a licence to key clinical data for MT-102. Innovations was instrumental in attracting £2.8m co-funding from Invesco, itself a shareholder in Innovations. Following the investment, Innovations will hold a 47.2% stake in Myotec. Simon Kerr, Director Bioscience Ventures at Imperial Innovations has joined the board of Myotec.
Susan Searle, Imperial Innovations Chief Executive, said:
“Cachexia is a significant health problem affecting nearly eight million people in Europe and the US. Tackling problems of this kind of scale requires world-class science backed by the necessary funding to progress treatments through the clinic.
“Myotec is an important emerging company in our life sciences portfolio and we believe it has the potential to address important unmet medical needs. We are pleased to be able to provide the funding and strategic support to enable it to progress its pipeline.”
John Beadle, CEO of Myotec Therapeutics, said:
“Innovations has given Myotec significant support in its early stages and with this substantial new investment we are now able to accelerate the clinical development of our promising treatments for life-threatening wasting diseases.”