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BGF leads £33m investment round into biopharmaceutical company, PhoreMost

BGF News 23.03.2021.

BGF has led an oversubscribed £33m investment round into PhoreMost Ltd., the UK-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to ‘Drugging the Undruggable®, disease targets. BGF invested £8.5m as part of the deal, which includes new investors XtalPi Inc., Astellas Venture Management, Trend Investment Group and o2h ventures. Existing investors Parkwalk Advisors, Morningside Ventures, and Jonathan Milner also contributed.

BGF is the one of the most active investors in the life sciences space. To date, it has backed more than 30 life science businesses, with its current portfolio spanning diagnostics, medtech and digital health, as well as services, software and tools supporting therapeutic development.

The investment into PhoreMost will be used to progress its preclinical ‘Allosteric PLK1’ collaboration with Sentinel Oncology into the clinic in 2022. The programme is initially targeted towards Glioma. PhoreMost will also progress multiple additional internal first-in-class drug discovery programmes across both oncology and ageing therapeutic indications.

PhoreMost’s SITESEEKER® platform can identify the best new therapeutic targets for any chosen disease setting, and rapidly identify how to develop novel drugs to these targets. This has the potential to significantly increase the diversity of novel treatments for cancer and other unmet diseases. Significantly, PhoreMost has recently deployed SITESEEKER towards the identification of novel E3-ligands, the progression of which has the potential to be highly disruptive within the important new targeted protein degradation therapeutic modality space.

As part of the deal, Tim Rea, investor at BGF and life sciences specialist, will join PhoreMost’s board.

Tim Rea said: “The team at BGF has been actively engaged in expanding our support for life sciences companies in the UK and we are excited to join the PhoreMost team on the next phase of their journey. The Company’s SITESEEKER technology is highly differentiated, addressing an important market need in the identification of novel drug sites within targets previously considered undruggable. We have been consistently impressed with the strong and experienced management team, and we believe PhoreMost is now in an ideal position to capitalise on the potential of its lead asset and innovative pipeline.”

PhoreMost raised £11M ($15M) in 2018, after which the Company expanded its SITESEEKER® capabilities in both target discovery and drug discovery.

Dr Chris Torrance CEO, PhoreMost, commented: “We are thrilled to include this exceptional group of investors in PhoreMost’s latest funding round. We are grateful for the continued support of existing investors and are delighted to welcome BGF alongside strategic investors XtalPi and Astellas Venture Management. PhoreMost is at an incredibly exciting phase of development, having made tremendous progress since receiving our initial funding. Our lead ‘Allosteric PLK1’ asset is well positioned for clinical entry and our SITESEEKER platform has made valuable discoveries within the targeted protein degradation, oncology and ageing fields. This funding now positions PhoreMost well to prosecute asset development across these high value therapeutic areas. I would like to thank the PhoreMost team and all of our partner organisations for helping us to achieve such excellent progress toward realising our important mission.”