Irish drug development start-up Inflection Biosciences aims to raise €8m in financial backing over the next three years after securing the rights to develop and sell a promising new cancer treatment.
In a deal with the world-leading Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Inflection will develop drug molecules that could be used to target diseases such as leukaemia, lymphoma and a number of other tumours, such as pancreatic, colorectal and oesophageal cancers.
So-called kinase inhibitors, which regulate proteins associated with those diseases, have demonstrated good activity in early research, according to Inflection, and the treatments can also be taken orally.
Once it has completed pre-clinical studies on the treatment in collaboration with the Spanish centre, Inflection Biosciences plans to team up with a larger drug company over the next three to five years to support further clinical development and commercialisation.
The Irish company has just secured €450,000 worth of finance from a private investor and Enterprise Ireland.
Inflection said there was significant demand by larger pharmaceutical companies for innovative cancer therapeutics.
Many of the larger pharmaceutical companies have closed major in-house research facilities and placed a greater emphasis on licensing, offering good opportunities for small companies with the right assets to partner with larger drug makers.
The Government has specifically targeted life sciences as a major area for investment. Its newly announced €175m start-up fund is aimed at venture capital firms that invest in life sciences and technology companies.
At the announcement (above) were Inflection director of research and co-founder Dr Michael O'Neill (left), and CEO and co-founder Darren Cunningham.