Lunac Therapeutics (Leeds, U.K.) this week announced that it has won a U.K. innovation grant equivalent to more than $4 million to develop what it describes as an innovative anticoagulant treatment with minimal bleeding risk.
The £3.14 million grant from Innovate U.K.’s Biomedical Catalyst program also went to the Medicines Discovery Catapult and the University of Leeds, which are collaborating with Lunac on the project.
The 18-month preclinical drug discovery project seeks to develop a first-in-class drug to prevent thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel. The organizations will work together to optimize and advance the discovery of a new class of highly specific anticoagulant compounds that block an activated clotting enzyme, Factor XII (FXIIa). The researchers say there is strong evidence that inhibition will not increase the risk of bleeding.
“New anticoagulant treatments are desperately needed. Lunac’s research has shown that targeting activated Factor XII has the potential to offer a new treatment option for patients, and we are therefore delighted to have secured Biomedical Catalyst funding to help drive this exciting project forward,” Helen Philippou, scientific founder of LunacTherapeutics, said in a news release.
News of the U.K. innovation grant comes weeks after Lunac announced it had spun out of the University of Leeds, with £2.65 million ($3.54 million) in funding from a Series A round led by Epidarex Capital and the university.