Biotech boost as Edinburgh cancer drugs accelerator secures major funding

Europe’s first oncology drug discovery accelerator is to scale up “at pace” after securing a seven-figure funding injection.

Left to right are Clare Wareing and Alan Wise of Cumulus Oncology and Mark Beaumont and Andrew McNeill of Eos Advisory. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Edinburgh-based Cumulus Oncology has been backed by St Andrews-based investment firm Eos Advisory, which has led a £1.7 million investment round supported by the Scottish Investment Bank, Alba Equity, Apollo and Investing Women.

Founded in 2017, Cumulus creates spin-out companies developing anti-cancer therapies and fast-tracking treatments into clinical trials for cancer types that do not respond well to existing procedures.

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The Eos-led round, which marks one of the investment outfit’s largest deals to date, will enable Cumulus to continue to scale its business model “at pace” and take advantage of what the accelerator describes as “significant market opportunities in Europe”.

Clare Wareing, the founder and chief executive of Cumulus Oncology, said: “While the business model is well developed in the US, Cumulus is leading the way in Europe.

“Having spent three years carefully curating a high-calibre team and building a portfolio of oncology asset-centric spin-out companies, we are poised to scale the business.

“Venture capital and trade investors see the value of the European biotech sector, which has matured markedly over the last few years evidenced by a threefold increase in venture financing, the doubling of European venture capital funds and increased investment from the US.

“We have some exciting portfolio and partnership announcements in the pipeline and we look forward to our next phase of growth with the support of the Eos Advisory team.”

Wareing, a University of Edinburgh PhD graduate, has experience of working with major pharma players, biotech companies and clinical research organisations over a 20-year career and previously founded Nexus Oncology which was acquired by US-based Ockham in 2012.

Andrew McNeill, managing partner, Eos Advisory, said: “With a track record in scaling and exiting biopharmaceutical ventures, Clare is a founder who combines significant market understanding with a clear vision of what she wants Cumulus and its portfolio companies to achieve.

“Clare has assembled a world-class team and we are enthused by their keen focus, deep sector expertise and drive to consolidate Cumulus’s position as Europe’s first and most successful oncology drug discovery accelerator.”

Kerry Sharp, director, Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, added: “Cumulus Oncology is a hugely exciting venture which highlights yet again Scotland’s exceptional global reputation for life sciences innovation.

“The team has excellent previous experience in creating high value enterprises and we look forward to working with them in this new venture.”

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