LUNAC Therapeutics (LUNAC), a UK based drug discovery company focused on the identification and development of advanced anticoagulants with minimal bleeding risk, today announced it has spun out of the University of Leeds with £2.65M funding in the first close of a Series A financing round. The investment is being led by Epidarex Capital and the University of Leeds. The Company was founded based on IP generated by Prof Helen Philippou and Dr Richard Foster, through unique insights built on a decade of academic research into Factor XII which has been supported by the Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council.
LUNAC is targeting activated Factor XII to identify and develop next-generation anticoagulants. Current therapies carry the risk of causing bleeding, and LUNAC believes that targeting the coagulation cascade at the level of Factor XII will reduce this risk. Factor XII is implicated in the formation of pathological clot formation, but not the stemming of bleeding. Furthermore, individuals who lack Factor XII do not exhibit bleeding symptoms, unlike those with a deficiency of any other coagulation factor. Prof Helen Philippou, Scientific Founder of LUNAC Therapeutics said, “There is an urgent need for anticoagulant therapies with reduced bleeding risk. Our research has validated that targeting activated Factor XII may lead to differentiated therapies and a new treatment option for patients.”
Dr Mary Canning of Epidarex Capital said, “LUNAC is taking a unique approach to the identification of novel anticoagulants, and we have been very impressed by the progress of the Factor XII program at the University of Leeds. This investment builds on Epidarex’s track record of funding innovative spin-outs from leading research universities, both across the UK and in the US.”
Andy Duley, Director of Commercialisation at the University of Leeds, said: “We are excited to be working together with Epidarex Capital on this significant funding round, to maximise the potential of the University’s research in the field of anticoagulation and build upon the decade of academic research into Factor XII at the University.”