Edinburgh-headquartered Cumulus was founded in 2017 to create spin-out companies around novel anti-cancer therapies that are fast-tracked through development and target cancers that do not respond well to existing treatments.
After founding Nodus Oncology in April 2020 to conduct research into DNA damage response (DDR), Cumulus formed Modulus Oncology in September 2020 alongside the University of Sheffield.
Bosses have secured a £4.1m investment led by St Andrews-based investment firm Eos Advisory. Scottish Enterprise invested alongside Eos as Cumulus plans further scaling up, while an additional £1.5m will follow in the coming months.
Chief executive and co-founder Clare Wareing said: “With the support of our cornerstone investors, we will accelerate our business model to identify and develop new oncology treatments that target the unmet medical needs of specific cancer patient populations.”
Andrew McNeill, managing partner, Eos Advisory, said: “Clare and her team have made tremendous progress over the last few years, are at the forefront of their field in the European context, and we are pleased to continue our support of the business as Cumulus enters its next phase of growth.”
Kerry Sharp, director of growth investments at Scottish Enterprise, added: “It’s fantastic to see the progress Cumulus Oncology is making in the field of cancer therapies.
“With Scottish Enterprise investment, which focuses on early stage high growth potential companies, this company can continue to develop its ambitious plans,” she added.
Cumulus also announced that Russell Greig will be joining the board as chairman. Greig spent much of his career working on both the drug development and investment sides of the business at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, where he held a number of positions including president, international pharmaceuticals, and senior vice president, worldwide business development.
More recently, he has held board roles for a series of biotechs and has advised life science venture capital outfits and biotechnology companies in the US, Europe, and Asia via his Philadelphia-based Greig Biotechnology Global Consulting business.
Greig said: “Cumulus has established a unique position in Europe, and is set to make an impact further afield in other regions including North America. I look forward to helping to guide Clare and her expert team around strategic focus over the months and years ahead.”
Scottish investment firm Eos invests in four key impact areas: disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment; energy security, climate change and pollution; food and water security; and sustainability of industrial processes and infrastructure.
In November, Cumulus Oncology said it had strengthened its senior team with a trio of appointments.
It appointed Munich-based Diane Seimetz and UK pharma industry specialist Sally Waterman as non-executive directors on its board, while former non-executive Nicola Broughton moved to an executive role as chief business officer.
Wareing said at the time: “We have stepped up our international activity and oncology asset-discovery process markedly over the last 12 months, and Diane, Sally and Nicola’s appointments significantly strengthen both our advisory and executive teams.”