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Major investment in University spin out company for cancer and inflammation drugs development

Published: 
11 September 2012

Karus Therapeutics Ltd, a leader in the development of innovative medicines with breakthrough potential and originally a University of Southampton spin-out, has secured major investment to advance the company’s proprietary PI3-Kinase p110 delta/beta and HDAC6 inhibitor programmes through early clinical trials in inflammation and cancer.

Karus Therapeutics Ltd, a leader in the development of innovative medicines with breakthrough potential and originally a University of Southampton spin-out, has secured major investment to advance the company’s proprietary PI3-Kinase p110 delta/beta and HDAC6 inhibitor programmes through early clinical trials in inflammation and cancer.

The selective inhibition of HDAC6 and the dual inhibition of PI3-Kinase p110-delta/beta have emerged as important new therapeutic strategies.

The financing, which includes a first tranche of $7.6M, was led by new investors, SV Life Sciences, New Leaf Ventures, Novo A/S and International Biotechnology Trust, who were joined by existing investors, IP Group and a number of Angel investors.

Karus Therapeutics Ltd is a spin-out company from the University of Southampton
Development of innovative medicines

Karus Therapeutics Ltd was initially spun-out from the University in 2005 to develop a novel class of highly potent, pan-HDAC inhibitors for the treatment of cancer that were identified by the University of Southampton and Cancer Research UK, as part of collaborative research conducted by Professor Graham Packham, Professor Ganesan (now of the University of East Anglia) and Professor Paul Townsend. In 2009, the company re-focused its development efforts on two programmes that were devised by the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, Stephen Shuttleworth: selective inhibitors of HDAC6 and dual-inhibitors of PI3-Kinase p110delta/beta.

Professor Iain Cameron, Dean of Medicine at the University of Southampton, comments: “Karus Therapeutics is a leader in the development of pioneering medicine with significant potential in treating inflammatory disease and cancer. These developments indicate the strong academic, industrial and translational potential in medicine and the breakthrough potential of companies like Karus, spun out of our academic research in Medicine.”

Professor Philip Nelson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research of the University of Southampton, adds: “This is another excellent example of University of Southampton spin-out success and reinforces our strong track record of generating new businesses that are highly attractive to investors.”

Notes for editors

Karus Therapeutics is a leader in the development of innovative medicines that have breakthrough potential in treating inflammatory disease and cancer. The Company’s scientific excellence is reflected in its proprietary PI3K and HDAC6 inhibitor programmes, from which innovative small molecule drugs with significant clinical and commercial potential have been developed. The UK based Company is privately-held with a strong financial track record and experienced investors, including SV Life Sciences, New Leaf Ventures, Novo A/S and IP Group. For further information please visit www.karustherapeutics.com

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