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Home  »  Biotech and Healthcare News  »  Arix-backed Artios completes £65m fundraising

Arix-backed Artios completes £65m fundraising


Arix-backed Artios completes £65m fundraising 

Artios Pharma, the Cambridge-based biotech backed by LSE-listed venture firm Arix Bioscience (ARIX), has completed a £65m Series B financing, allowing it to advance its lead programme targeting DNA polymerase theta through early clinical trials. The deal was led by Andera Partners and Life Science Partners and brought in two new investors – both corporate VCs – in the form of  Pfizer Ventures and Novartis Venture Fund. Arix and four other existing shareholders –  IP Group, SV Health Investors, M Ventures and AbbVie Ventures – also participated, with Arix additionally purchasing a shares from an existing shareholder for £0.6m. 

Arix committed £8m in the fundraising and remains Artios’ largest shareholder with a 12.4% stake, fully diluted (previously 14.9%). The financing recognised a 26% uplift in the book value since Artios’s £25m Series A in 2016. Arix’s interest is now carried at £15.3m, and it will be the company’s second largest investment after Autolus, accounting for about 5.1% of NAV. Artios should have a post-money valuation of about £107m.  IP Group separately disclosed it committed £5m to the fundraising. 

Artios is developing anticancer drugs that target DNA damage response mechanisms. The inhibition of novel DNA repair targets in tumours where DNA damage response factors have been lost or down regulated has been shown to lead to cancer cells being selectively killed without harming normal cells, a concept known as synthetic lethality. Artios is building a pipeline of first-in-class DDR therapies identified from a network of researchers in the field. The company has in-licensed two programmes against novel targets, Pol-theta and an undisclosed target, from Cancer Research Technology, and a nuclease programme from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. 

*Separately, Arix’s Ireland-based and Nasdaq-listed investee, Iterum Therapeutics, has initiated the first of three planned Phase III  trials of its lead antibiotic sulopenem. The first study is of the oral formulation versus ciprofloxacin in uncomplicated urinary tract infections (NCT03354598) and top-line results are expected in the second half of 2019. The other two trials are IV-to oral of sulopenem against ertapenem followed by ciprofloxacin in complicated urinary tract infections (NCT03357614) and complicated intra-abdominal infection (NCT03358576).

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