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ILC Therapeutics completes £3.5 million funding round

ILC Therapeutics completes £3.5 million funding round

Lanarkshire-based biotechnology company ILC Therapeutics has completed a £3.5m pre-IPO funding round.

 

Investors include Los Angeles-based lawyer and investor Robert Kopple; St Andrews-based Eos Angel Investment Syndicate; Scottish Enterprise; and members of ILCT’s management. Kopple, along with St Andrews University Professor David Harrison and Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry president Chris Brinsmead, will now join the board.

Chief executive Dr Alan Walker said: “Catalysed by the global Covid crisis, governments and markets alike are recognising the critical need for effective and safe antiviral medicines, both to meet the immediate challenges of today and the inevitable new threats of tomorrow.

“ILC Therapeutics’ hybrid interferon platform technology is well-positioned to address these needs and Alfacyte, our lead candidate, has the potential to become an important antiviral treatment in the ongoing global fight against Covid-19 and future pandemic threats.’’

Alfacyte is being developed as an inhaled medicine to treat respiratory viral infections and is designed to provide enhanced efficacy and improved safety in comparison to natural interferon subtypes.

In vitro testing has demonstrated that the hybrid platform has many times greater antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 cell culture than any other available interferon.

Interferons are naturally produced chemical messenger molecules that ‘interfere’ with viral reproduction – becoming the body’s first defence against all viral pathogens. However, in many cases – including SARS, MERS and Covid-19 – viruses evolve resistance mechanisms to evade or reduce natural interferon responses.

ILCT’s hybrid interferons select favourable attributes of naturally occurring interferon subtypes and combine them in a new class of novel Hybrid Interferons.

The company was founded by Professor W. H. Stimson, who established the Department of Immunology at The University of Strathclyde.