The SR One VC unit of GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) has contributed in the Series C $39 million funding round of PsiOxus Therapeutics. The company is raising funds for conducting clinical trials of an oncolytic virus treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor. The fundraising has been initiated after the Phase 1 trial results of a study involving infusion of the oncolytic virus enadenotucirev that showed tumor cell infections
PsiOxus is mulling to study the possibility of combining the oncolytic virus with a checkpoint inhibitor in treating the tumor. For this, the company will be enrolling colorectal cancer patients for a new phase 1 trial. Many of the existing shareholders like Imperial Innovations, Invesco, SR One, Lundbeckfond Ventures and Mercia Technologies have shown interest in this study. The companies have also supported the Series C round of PsiOxus. Imperial Innovations alone has funded $11 million with a 28.3% stake in PsiOxus.
With the current round of investment, the company has till now put $85 million in the AbEnAd that is one of the most important upcoming projects that they are hoping to rein the markets. PsiOxus is planning to use the AbEnAd platform in the oncology treatments by converting the infected cells into antibodies to fight diseases. Even while the company already has developed anti-PDL1 and anti-CTLA4 treatments, they are aiming to do much bigger things. By creating combination treatments to counter diseases, the company is trying to create a niche in the market.
Positive Outlook For Trial
Even as the trial is yet to start, the positive outlook of the investors is a boost to PsiOxus, and the company is working on starting the final stages at the earliest. While some of the finances would go into the research and development, the rest would use in the trials and development of the breakthrough therapy.
Supporting the cause, Mercia’s Investment Director in Life Sciences Peter Dines said that they were happy to support such a noble concept. He said that University of Birmingham and Imperial College technological experts had formed PsiOxus and Mercia was delighted to be associated with the company in their course.