KINOMICA SECURES £3.9M INVESTMENT FOR PIONEERING CELL SIGNALLING TECHNOLOGY
TO AID PRECISION MEDICINE DEVELOPMENT
The deal cements the business’ ambition to become a world-leader in cell signalling bioinformatics by 2022
Proteomic-data science and diagnostics company, Kinomica, has secured £3.9m in funding for pioneering technology that could prove integral to the development of new drug treatments.
KScan™, a next-generation biomarker and molecular diagnostics platform, has been designed to aid the development of kinase inhibitor drugs for treating cancer patients and other conditions. It can be utilised at every stage of the drug development process; from generating novel drug targets, to investigating drug resistance and classifying patients for clinical trials. Kinomica has already secured commercial agreements with several blue-chip pharma companies including AstraZeneca.
The investment marks a major milestone for Kinomica and the KScan™ platform, with BGF, the UK’s most active growth capital investor, and healthcare, science and engineering investor, Longwall Venture Partners LLP (Longwall Ventures) investing £1.5 million, respectively. Additional funding of £900,000 was secured via seed investors, including BioCity, Alderley Park Ventures, and Puffin Point, a family office in London.
The investment will be used to finance the rapid up-scale of operations – including facilities and equipment – to deliver a pipeline of projects.
Jane Theaker, CEO at Kinomica, said of the investment:
“This marks a huge step forward for Kinomica and for KScan™, as we look to the future of cancer treatment. Our pioneering technology offers much-needed support for the development of new precision medicines and represents a new approach to drug trials and treatments that will have a huge impact on patients’ lives.
“We are enormously grateful to our investors for their support as we look to a new era of research and development in the battle against cancer and other disease areas where an understanding of cell signalling is important.”
Rhys Davenport, Investor at BGF, said:
“Kinomica is a phenomenal example of early-stage life sciences innovation emerging from the UK. The business’ technology has the potential to provide insights to its pharma customer-base which help to identify drug targets, personalise treatments and develop diagnostics, that will transform patient outcomes. Led by CEO Jane Theaker, the business is at a stage in its journey where this injection of capital could unlock significant growth.”
Rebecca Todd, Investment Director at Longwall Ventures, added:
“As a specialist investor in healthcare, science and engineering, we are proud to be backing Kinomica and delighted to welcome the company to our portfolio. We recognise the importance of the ground-breaking science behind the company and the potential of the KScan™ platform to improve cancer treatment, ultimately saving more lives. We look forward to supporting the company to realise its ambitions in the coming years of exciting development.”
Founded in 2016, Kinomica was borne out of the work of Dr Pedro Cutillas – Professor of Cell Signalling and Proteomics – and his colleagues of the Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London.
The kinase inhibitor market is one of the world’s foremost categories of chemotherapy medicine. There are currently 150 kinase inhibitor drugs undergoing clinical trials globally, and thousands in the preclinical stage, offering hope to patients worldwide in the fight against cancer.
Kinases are a class of enzymes in living things that promote phosphorylation; specific, misdirected kinase activity can contribute to the growth of cancer and other disease processes. Kinase inhibitors are administered to stop certain kinases as chemotherapies for cancer to slow the proliferation of malignant cells or to block disease processes, with KScan™ offering vital insights that will improve the response to drug treatments.
NOTES TO EDITORS
KScan™ the phosphoproteomics platform developed by Kinomica’s founders, has the potential to predict patient responses to targeted therapies with greater accuracy than is currently possible. KScan™ directly measures intracellular kinase and cell-signalling pathway activity in cells and tissues, and combines the phosphoproteomics readout with innovative computational (including machine-learning) algorithms and high-quality data to:
- reveal drug molecular efficacy, mechanisms of action and therapeutic resistance
- identify and validate new biomarkers
- inform diagnostic decision-making
- identify novel and/or alternative drug targets and therapies
The KScan™ offering can be tailored to provide a range of services to meet specific customer needs and is being developed as a further companion diagnostic technology to guide physicians in the selection of effective treatment for each individual patient, facilitating enhanced precision medicine.
Kinomica is led by a highly skilled and multidisciplinary team that is dedicated to using its cell-signalling and data science expertise which may inform and guide diagnostic decision-making for improved patient outcomes. Kinomica is privately held and was spun out of the Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London in 2016, to build on the work of Dr Pedro Cutillas and colleagues. Kinomica is headquartered in Alderley Park, UK, with additional operations in London and Canada.
- BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested more than £2.2bn in over 330 companies, making it the most active investor in the UK
- BGF is a minority, non-controlling equity partner with a patient outlook on investments, based on shared long-term goals with the management teams it backs
- BGF invests in growing businesses in the UK and Ireland through its network of 14 offices.
www.bgf.co.uk Social media: @BGFinvestments
About Longwall Ventures
Longwall Venture Partners LLP is a venture capital firm investing in innovative, UK based, early stage companies in the healthcare, science, and engineering sectors. Based on the Harwell Campus, a leading science, innovation and technology park, located just south of Oxford, Longwall manages three funds: the £30m Oxford Technology ECF, the £40m Longwall Ventures ECF and the £75m Longwall Ventures 3 ECF, which it is currently investing. The Longwall portfolio includes companies in a range of sectors including scientific and research instrumentation, next generation PV, cancer diagnostics, drug delivery systems, digital health, satellite robotics, IoT security, radar, agricultural technology, and organ perfusion. Longwall Venture Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
About Barts Cancer Institute
At Queen Mary University of London, we believe that the diversity of ideas helps us achieve the previously unthinkable.
Barts Cancer Institute, part of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, aims to ensure that our research is relevant to and will impact on cancer patients. Our staff and students focus their efforts on two objectives; how to increase the chances of survival through early detection and diagnosis; and improving patient survival through the discovery and development of more effective and innovative therapies. These objectives are underpinned by research into improving our understanding of the basic cell and molecular biology of cancer and the body’s natural immune response to it.
The Barts Cancer Institute is accredited as a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Centre of Excellence (The “CRUK Barts Centre”) and is a key partner in the CRUK City of London (CoL) Major Centre, a collaboration with The Francis Crick Institute, King’s College London and University College London. The CoL Major Centre is a world class hub for cancer biotherapeutics with the vision to be at the forefront of cancer biotherapeutics in the UK and internationally, providing leadership for the wider CRUK Centre’s Network. This unique focus within the CRUK Centre’s Network is primarily aimed at harnessing the power of the immune system to control cancer.
Our excellence in research and clinical practice, combined with our commitment to nurture the next generation of researchers, makes the Barts Cancer Institute one of the best in the UK and internationally, striving as we do to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.