Scottish Elasmogen raises €2.3 million to beat cancer based on protein found in sharks

Aberdeen-based biotech startup Elasmogen has announced it has secured follow-on equity investment from Deepbridge Capital totalling €2.3 million, taking Deepbridge’s total investment in Elasmogen to €3.67 million.

Elasmogen, founded 2016, hopes to destroy hard to treat cancers from inside. The startup is developing new medicines based on the discovery of certain antibody-like molecules found in sharks, called VNARS, which are antibody-like proteins.

Using the latest genetic engineering techniques, and taking advantage of 400 million years of evolution, Elasmogen has created drug libraries of more than 100 billion unique soloMERs, from which new drug leads can be isolated. The soloMERs’ small size, highly stable nature and simple structure makes them ideal for delivering more effective treatments for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.

Elasmogen is currently progressing its own internal pipeline of novel drugs as well as enjoying a growing number of successful commercial partnerships, where soloMERs are being used to target potent drug warheads (so called drug conjugates) for the treatment of aggressive and life-shortening diseases.

Elasmogen CEO Caroline Barelle said: “We are delighted that Deepbridge has continued to support our future development. Our pre-clinical data sets are becoming more and more compelling. This data is turning our original hypotheses about the unique selling points of our soloMERs into scientific reality. In fact, we now have results that show our drugs, at least in the laboratory, are 10x more potent than existing therapies. In addition, carefully selected partnerships are accelerating the disease modifying potential of our soloMERs, delivering the potential to destroy hard to treat cancers by stealth and from deep inside the solid-tumour.”

Dr Savvas Neophytou, Partner, Head of Life Sciences at Deepbridge Capital, commented: “Having supported Elasmogen from seed-stage, we are delighted to continue working in partnership with the exceptional team at Elasmogen. Elasmogen typifies the type of growth-focused early-stage innovation that the Enterprise Investment Scheme was designed to support.”

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