Spin-out raise £4.3m to accelerate work on new drugs

Mironid said the fundraising would enable the 'rapid acceleration' of its product pipeline. Picture: David Silverman/Getty Images
Mironid said the fundraising would enable the 'rapid acceleration' of its product pipeline. Picture: David Silverman/Getty Images
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A university spin-out life sciences company has secured £4.3 million of funding to accelerate its work to develop new drugs to treat diseases including cancer.

The funding round for North Lanarkshire-based Mironid, which was spun out of the University of Strathclyde only last year, was led by venture capital group Epidarex Capital and also backed by the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) and the university.

The company – founded following initial proof of concept studies which also involved Heriot-Watt University – said the funding will support its research and pre-clinical development programmes, focusing on degenerative kidney disease, cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Its founders include Strathclyde’s Professor Miles Houslay, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the field of cell signalling in which Mironid is involved and who has also worked with many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

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Paul Rodgers, executive chairman at Mironid, said the funds raised will enable “rapid acceleration” of the company’s programmes to enable further product pipeline development.

“The founders of Mironid are ambitious and have shown great commitment to close this funding round. The team has a unique blend of high calibre multidisciplinary industrial experience combined with top tier academic expertise in cell signalling research,” he said.

The funding round is the latest led by Epidarex Capital in Edinburgh since it raised a new fund of £47.5m in 2014 with backers including US drug giant Eli Lilly, the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, King’s College London, the European Investment Fund, Scottish Enterprise and Strathclyde Pension fund. The fund was set up to help start-ups and university spin-outs in the life sciences sector access funding.

Sinclair Dunlop, managing partner at Epidarex Capital, described Mironid as a “dynamic, innovative company” with potential to help develop drugs to radically improve the treatment of chronic diseases.

Adrian Gillespie of Scottish Enterprise, which has supported the company through its SIB investment arm, said: “This particular area of drug development is very exciting, and the announcement of investment for its commercialisation is fantastic news. We have endeavoured to provide Mironid with joined-up support from early stage research, to company formation and now investment to help them scale up their operations.”

In November Epidarex Capital led a £4.45m funding round for University of Glasgow spin-out Caldan Therapeutics, which was also backed by the SIB. The company specialises in developing treatments for type 2 diabetes. Epidarex has also backed Edinburgh Molecular Imaging, Clyde Biosciences and Sirakoss in Aberdeen.