Storm Therapeutics raises £12m to develop cancer therapeutics

The funding will be used to identify small molecules that target RNA-modifying enzymes as the basis for the development of new cancer therapies

Storm Therapeutics, a Cambridge University spin-out, has raised £12m which will be used to develop new cancer therapies.

Imperial Innovations led the seed funding round for its portfolio company, formerly called Iceni Therapeutics, in May 2015 and has now committed a further £3m, alongside existing investor Cambridge Innovation Capital and new investors Merck Ventures BV and Pfizer Venture Investments. As a result of this new investment, Imperial Innovations will hold a 22.3% stake in the issued share capital of the company.

The funding will be used to identify small molecules that target RNA-modifying enzymes as the basis for the development of new cancer therapies.

Storm Therapeutics is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge’s Gurdon Institute and was created to commercialise the ground-breaking work of its founders, Professor Tony Kouzarides and Professor Eric Miska, in the field of RNA epigenetics.

 

RNA (ribonucleic acid) is the template of all protein synthesis and has key regulatory functions in the cell. There is growing understanding of the importance of RNA modification in the development of cancer, opening up novel therapeutic targets in cancer treatment.

Professors Kouzarides and Miska and their research groups have identified certain RNA-modifying enzymes against which Storm Therapeutics intends to develop therapeutics, using intellectual property licensed from Cambridge Enterprise (the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge).

The proceeds of the funding will be used to identify small molecule modulators of these novel targets in RNA modification pathways and develop them into new classes of anti-cancer treatments.