A group of scientists intent on hijacking exosomes for therapeutic purposes has gathered together a $45.4 million round — including a significant contribution from Google’s GV — to back their move toward the clinic with new drugs for rare diseases.
The biotech is called Evox Therapeutics. Based in Oxford, the company has positioned itself among the handful of players that are using tiny exosomes — part of the body’s natural vesicle courier system — to deliver a therapeutic payload where needed, including targets in the brain.
Funded with a £10 million Series A from Oxford Sciences Innovation, the company has been working on a potential pipeline of therapies for rare diseases with tech that could take them to currently undruggable targets, penetrating the blood brain barrier as well as concentrating on “intracellular delivery of biologics, and extra-hepatic delivery of RNA therapeutics.”
Helmed by Antonin de Fougerolles, the tech focus they’re working on is also shared by Doug Williams’ Codiak, which also has high hopes for exosomes as a new and versatile delivery vehicle. The CEO moved to Evox late last year after a stint as CSO at Ablynx and earlier at Moderna.
In addition to GV, Redmile Group led the financing with Cohen jumping in for the first time. Panacea Healthcare Venture, Borealis Ventures, some private investors, Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) and Oxford University also chipped in.
Redmile’s Jeremy Green noted:
We believe exosomes represent an important emerging therapeutic approach with potentially broad applicability, and we are enthusiastic to partner with the Evox team.
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