Celtic Pharma Holdings funds biosuperiors development at Cantab

Celtic Pharma Holdings has made £5m of private equity funding available to Cantab Biopharmaceuticals (CBL) over three years for the development of improved biological medicines.

Celtic Pharma Holdings has made £5m of private equity funding available to Cantab Biopharmaceuticals (CBL) over three years for the development of improved biological medicines or "biosuperiors" through its Celtic Pharma Holdings II LP (CP2) fund.

CBL, based in Cambridge, UK, is a biopharmaceutical company wholly owned by CP2 that develops next-generation biologics, or "biosuperiors".

Initially CBL will use the investment to target specific bio-superior opportunities in the area of haematology using its own resources and through technology agreements with third parties. The company will aim to progress these candidates to Phase I or Phase II, at which point partners will be sought to develop the programmes further.

In the longer term, CBL aims to build a pipeline of "bio-superior" candidates in other therapeutic areas, including infectious disease.

CBL will undertake the research programme jointly with PolyTherics, a spin-out from Imperial College London and the London School of Pharmacy, which will receive an upfront payment and ongoing technical support for the research, while CBL may elect to submit two further proteins for research under the collaboration. PolyTherics has granted CP2 an option to license products arising from the research collaboration, with PolyTherics receiving a share of any commercial returns.

In addition, CBL has appointed Dr Jim Mills, formerly director of operations at Cambridge Biomanufacturing, as chief executive. Dr Stephen Parker will become non-executive chairman and John Mayo and Dr Bill Henry non-executive directors.

Mills said: "Biologics have established a large market across many therapeutic areas, but many have well known limitations. We believe we can address these issues and generate new, improved products that will be attractive to industry and create significant shareholder value."

Companies