University spin out raises £4.75m worth of funding

LUNAC Therapeutics, a drug discovery company focused on the development of advanced life-saving anticoagulants, has raised £4.75m in an additional financing round.

The funding for the University of Leeds spin out has come from Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the NPIF, the Government’s Future Fund, and existing investors including Caribou Property Ltd and Epidarex Capital.

Mervyn Turner, chairman of LUNAC, said: “LUNAC has demonstrated exceptional progress working closely with our world-leading academic founders and CRO partners.

“This new funding, alongside follow-on investment from our existing investor, demonstrates the clear medical need and value of our programme.

“LUNAC is in an excellent position to move our programme forward into preclinical development and prepare for the first clinical studies.

“We thank Caribou and Epidarex for their ongoing support and welcome Mercia as a new investor.”

Mark Wyatt, investment director with Mercia, added: “LUNAC is a great example of the world-leading academic research base that exists within the Yorkshire region that is attracting significant specialist investment.

“We are pleased to be able to support the business alongside others at this time, and are excited to see its novel therapeutic programme continue to make progress.”

LUNAC is pursuing the discovery of next generation oral anticoagulant therapies, with a reduced risk of causing bleeding compared to current treatments.

The business is founded on IP generated by Professor Helen Philippou, professor of translational medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds, and Dr Richard Foster, associate professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the same university.

Their knowledge is built on a decade of academic research in association with leading supporters of scientific and medical research, including the Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation and the UK’s Medical Research Council.