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  • Writer's pictureLUNAC Therapeutics

LUNAC Therapeutics spun out to develop next gen. anticoagulants, announces Series A funding round

  • Novel anticoagulants to minimise bleeding risk by targeting activated Factor XII

  • Builds on a decade of academic research into Factor XII

  • Investment round led by Epidarex Capital and University of Leeds

Leeds, UK, 14 November 2019: LUNAC Therapeutics (LUNAC), a UK based drug discovery company focused on the identification and development of advanced anticoagulants with minimal bleeding risk, today announced it has spun out of the University of Leeds with £2.65M funding in the first close of a Series A financing round. The investment is being led by Epidarex Capital and the University of Leeds. The Company was founded based on IP generated by Prof Helen Philippou and Dr Richard Foster, through unique insights built on a decade of academic research into Factor XII which has been supported by the Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council.

LUNAC is targeting activated Factor XII to identify and develop next-generation anticoagulants. Current therapies carry the risk of causing bleeding, and LUNAC believes that targeting the coagulation cascade at the level of Factor XII will reduce this risk. Factor XII is implicated in the formation of pathological clot formation, but not the stemming of bleeding. Furthermore, individuals who lack Factor XII do not exhibit bleeding symptoms, unlike those with a deficiency of any other coagulation factor.

Prof Helen Philippou, Scientific Founder of LUNAC Therapeutics, said: “There is an urgent need for anticoagulant therapies with reduced bleeding risk. Our research has validated that targeting activated Factor XII may lead to differentiated therapies and a new treatment option for patients.”

Dr Mary Canning of Epidarex Capital, added: “LUNAC is taking a unique approach to the identification of novel anticoagulants, and we have been very impressed by the progress of the Factor XII program at the University of Leeds. This investment builds on Epidarex’s track record of funding innovative spin-outs from leading research universities, both across the UK and in the US.”

Andy Duley, Director of Commercialisation at the University of Leeds, commented: “We are excited to be working together with Epidarex Capital on this significant funding round, to maximise the potential of the University’s research in the field of anticoagulation and build upon the decade of academic research into Factor XII at the University.”

About LUNAC Therapeutics Limited

LUNAC Therapeutics is a spin out from the University of Leeds pursuing the discovery of next generation anticoagulant therapeutics by targeting activated factor XII. Current therapies carry the risk of causing bleeding and LUNAC believes that targeting the coagulation cascade at the level of Factor XII will reduce this risk.

About Epidarex Capital

Epidarex Capital is a transatlantic venture fund that invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies in under-ventured markets. Epidarex focuses on providing risk capital to young companies, including spin-outs, from leading research institutions in both established and emerging life science hubs. The fund’s international management team has a track record of successfully partnering with top scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market.

About University of Leeds

The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK, with more than 38,000 students from more than 150 different countries, and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University plays a significant role in the Turing, Rosalind Franklin and Royce Institutes.

We are a top ten university for research and impact power in the UK, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, and are in the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings 2020. Additionally, the University was awarded a Gold rating by the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017, recognising its ‘consistently outstanding’ teaching and learning provision. Twenty-six of our academics have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships – more than any other institution in England, Northern Ireland and Wales – reflecting the excellence of our teaching.

Over a third of our academics are involved in applied research or as consultants to industry, and over the last ten years, the University of Leeds has produced more than 100 ‘spin-out’ companies.

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