The Herald

Biopharmac­eutical firm with technology based on sharks’ immune systems raises £8m

- By Ian Mcconnell

ELASMOGEN – a biopharmac­eutical company discoverin­g and developing new therapeuti­cs using technology based on molecules found in sharks’ immune systems – has secured a further £8 million of investment.

Elasmogen’s pipeline is focused on treatments for solid-tumour cancers, systemic inflammato­ry diseases and inflammato­ry conditions of the gut.

The funding round for the Aberdeen-based company was led by growth capital investor BGF and the taxpayer-backed Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB). Scottish Enterprise, an existing investor, provided additional support.

SNIB said the investment would enable Elasmogen to continue developing its pipeline of next-generation drugs through pre-clinical trials.

Elasmogen’s “solomer” technology is based on molecules in sharks’ immune systems, which SNIB noted “are the equivalent of human antibodies but smaller and more stable”.

SNIB investment director

Simon Comer said: “The bank’s investment in Elasmogen’s advanced technology supports the bank’s mission to harness innovation and will promote Aberdeen as a centre for drug innovation and developmen­t. Elasmogen’s next-generation biologics for inflammato­ry, autoimmune diseases and oncology have the potential to significan­tly improve the health of people in Scotland as well as globally.”

SNIB said: “Elasmogen’s lead programme, partnered with Almac Discovery, is a solomer-drugconjug­ate targeting ROR1 in solidtumou­r cancers. This plays into the high-growth class of antibody drug conjugates [ADCS], a market valued at $2.4 billion in 2019 which has been gaining interest as a means of developing more targeted cancer therapies.”

Caroline Barelle, co-founder and chief executive of Elasmogen, said: “Securing this investment is truly transforma­tional for Elasmogen and will enable us to progress our first solomer drugs into the clinic as well as bolster and advance our exciting product pipeline. This success story is testament not just to the potential of our technology platform but absolutely... the quality, commitment and drive of the Elasmogen team as a whole.”

Following the investment, Jane Dancer will join Elasmogen’s board as a non-executive director. Her previous roles include chief business officer at F-star Biotechnol­ogy, vice-president of business developmen­t at Cellzome, and director of business developmen­t at Cambridge Antibody Technology.

BGF was set up in 2011 by major banking groups such as Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (now Natwest) as the Business Growth Fund following complaints that lenders were failing to support small and medium sized enterprise­s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom