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KINOMICA SECURES £3.9M INVESTMENT FOR PIONEERING CELL-SIGNALLING TECHNOLOGY TO AID PRECISION MEDICINE DEVELOPMENT

KINOMICA SECURES £3.9M INVESTMENT FOR PIONEERING CELL-SIGNALLING TECHNOLOGY TO AID PRECISION MEDICINE DEVELOPMENT

Macclesfield-based 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 process; from generating novel drug targets, to investigating drug resistance and classifying patients for clinical trials.

The investment marks a major milestone in the future of Kinomica – headquartered at Alderley Park – and the KScan™ platform, with independent investment firm, BGF, and healthcare, science and engineering investor, Longwall Venture Partners LLP, backing the project with £1.5m respectively.

For BGF, the deal was led by Jonathan Earl and Rhys Davenport, investors in the North West team. To date, the company has invested more than £100m in 30 life sciences business across the UK. Rebecca Todd, investment director, led the project for Longwall Venture Partners LLP.

Additional funding totaling £900,000 was secured via seed investors, including BioCity, Alderley Park Ventures, and Puffin Point, a family office in London. The investment will be put towards the rental of a laboratory and the purchase of equipment necessary to facilitate clinical trials, including a mass spectrometer.

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, and has already secured ongoing academic collaborations as well as commercial agreements with blue-chip pharma companies including AstraZeneca. The organisation currently employs three, alongside three consultants, all of whom are based at Alderley Park, with plans to recruit a further 14 staff and two additional consultants by June 2021.

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.

Its ambition is to become a world-leader in cell-signalling bioinformatics by 2022.

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 of BGF’s North West, team, said: “Kinomica is a phenomenal example of life sciences innovation based in the North West. 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, and 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 Venture Partners LLP, added: “As a specialist investor in healthcare, science and engineering, we are proud to have made such a significant contribution to this latest round of investment. We recognised the huge potential of Kinomica and the KScan™ platform and we hope that this support will go a long way to accelerating the implementation of this innovative technology within the field of pharma research and development.”