Edinburgh-based cancer therapeutics development specialist Cumulus Oncology has secured a £9 million funding package, which includes £6 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank.
Cumulus creates spin-out companies involved in the development of groundbreaking new cancer treatments.
Cumulus will use the funding to expand its portfolio of companies and help accelerate the way new cancer drugs are progressed from discovery, through clinical trials to patients.
The funding round was led by existing investor Eos Advisory.
Cumulus said it operates using a unique “hub and spoke” model as a company creation studio with Cumulus acting as “the creator” of high value spin-out companies.
“Focusing on new areas of biology where strong scientific validation exists, Cumulus is leading the development of a new wave of therapeutic options for cancer patients,” said Cumulus.
“The model enables Cumulus to leverage its deep expertise and successful track record in new drug approvals in the oncology area, keeping pace with scientific innovations and spreading the risk associated with therapeutic development.
“Cumulus will utilise the new funding to expand its existing portfolio of companies, focusing on de-risking science and prioritising the strongest programmes, scientifically and commercially.”
Scottish National Investment Bank investment director Paul Callaghan said: “Cumulus, aided by an extremely experienced and capable team, is innovating not only in the science, but in the entire process of how drugs are moved from discovery to later stage clinical trials.
“We are really pleased to be helping them achieve their ambitions and shine a spotlight on Scotland’s drug discovery capabilities.”
Cumulus Oncology founder and CEO Clare Wareing said: “This funding round marks an important milestone for Cumulus, as oncology remains a critical area of scientific innovation and unmet medical need.
“At Cumulus, we’re not only innovating at the scientific level but also offering a uniquely differentiated process for decision-making and prioritisation in drug discovery and development.
“The business model enables only the strongest science to be translated from discovery into clinical trials.
“Our portfolio approach aims to enhance the ultimate success rate in cancer therapy development, which currently remains unacceptably low.
“It also provides an alternative approach to the de-risking of early-stage oncology investment.
“We are grateful for the support from Eos and the Scottish National Investment Bank enabling us to continue investing in our existing companies and expand our portfolio of new biotechs, advancing our mission to develop the next generation of cancer therapies.”
Eos managing partner Andrew McNeil said: “The Cumulus approach is one that supports the development of a range of cancer treatments, this inherently reduces risk by not placing reliance on one therapeutic candidate.
“We see this as a really exciting and novel business model, with a team who have the track record of having brought 17 new cancer drugs to market throughout their careers. Eos has been proud to support Cumulus since its inception.”