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PhoreMost’s £33m investment success for disease targets

PhoreMost has completed a £33m Series B investment round.

Dr Chris Torrance, PhoreMost CEO
Dr Chris Torrance, PhoreMost CEO

Based at Building 250 on Babraham Research Campus, the biopharmaceutical company dedicated to ‘drugging the undruggable’ disease targets is advancing its pipeline of novel therapies for oncology and diseases of ageing.

The funding is expected to support progression of PLK1 programme, for treatment of brain cancer, into the clinic within 18 months. Progress is also being made developing novel therapeutic modalities in the targeted protein degradation space.

Series A funding of £11m in 2018 resulted in rapid progress of the company’s SITESEEKER platform in both target discovery and drug discovery. SITESEEKER uses the inherent biological shape diversity of proteins to drive the discovery of new druggable sites on previously unanticipated protein targets.

That these new possibilities are being successfully leveraged has led to an oversubscribed round with investors led by BGF, with XtalPi, Astellas Venture Management, Trend Investment Group, o2h ventures, Parkwalk Advisors, Morningside Ventures and Jonathan Milner.

Dr Chris Torrance, PhoreMost’s CEO, said: “We are thrilled to include this exceptional group of investors in PhoreMost’s Series B funding round. We are grateful for the continued support of existing investors and are delighted to welcome BGF, alongside strategic investors XtalPi with whom we have a highly valued ongoing research collaboration, and Astellas Venture Management.

Dr Catherine Beech, chair, PhoreMost
Dr Catherine Beech, chair, PhoreMost

“PhoreMost is at an incredibly exciting phase of development, having made tremendous progress since the Series A funding. Our lead Allosteric PLK1 asset is well positioned for clinical entry and our SITESEEKER platform has made valuable discoveries within the targeted protein degradation, oncology and ageing fields. This funding now positions PhoreMost well to prosecute asset development across these high value therapeutic areas.

“I would like to thank the PhoreMost team and all of our partner organisations for helping us to achieve such excellent progress toward realising our important mission.”

Dr Torrance also announced other structural changes.

“I also welcome Catherine Beech to the PhoreMost chair,” he said, “and thank our outgoing chair Jonathan Milner for his exceptional stewardship over the past five years.”

Dr Catherine Beech, chair, PhoreMost, said: “Since joining PhoreMost’s Board I have continued to be impressed by the progress the company has made, both in terms of its own internal programmes as well as with a range of strategic collaborations. I am honoured to be appointed as Chair and look forward to working even more closely with Chris and the team during this exciting time for PhoreMost.”

Tim Rea, BGF, PhoreMost investor. Picture: Piranha Photography
Tim Rea, BGF, PhoreMost investor. Picture: Piranha Photography

Tim Rea, investor, BGF, said: “The team at BGF has been actively engaged in expanding our support for life sciences companies in the UK and we are excited to join the PhoreMost team on the next phase of their journey.

“The company’s SITESEEKER technology is highly differentiated, addressing an important market need in the identification of novel drug sites within targets previously considered undruggable. We have been consistently impressed with the strong and experienced management team, and we believe PhoreMost is now in an ideal position to capitalise on the potential of its lead asset and innovative pipeline.”

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