Biotechs and the City Spring, 31st March

On the evening of the 31st March, ‘Biotechs and the City Spring’ was the latest evening presentation and networking event for Biotech and Money community members to be held in Central London. The evening served as an informal forum for senior executives to come together, network and enjoy a relaxed evening of great networking with their peers.

We were delighted that the evening event was hosted by CMS Cameron McKenna LLP. CMS provides clients with specialist, business-focused advice in law and tax matters, with over 3,500 legal professionals across the world.

The evening commenced at 6pm with drinks and informal networking, with the two Executive presentations starting at around 6.45pm. We were thrilled to have Anker Lundemose, CEO, MISSION Therapeutics as the first of our two speakers. MISSION Therapeutics is a private, drug discovery and development company focused on selectively targeting deubiquitylating enzymes to treat diseases of high unmet need. They have built a World-leading platform for the discovery and development of first-in-class, small-molecule drugs that selectively target deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) – an emerging, and hitherto intractable, drug class that is attracting significant commercial interest as the potential ‘Next Kinase Area’.

In February 2016 the company raised £60 million. The financing was jointly led by Imperial Innovations Businesses LLP (“Innovations”) and new investor Woodford Patient Capital Trust Plc (“WPCT”), with follow-on investment from existing shareholders Sofinnova Partners, SR One, Roche Venture Fund and Pfizer Venture Investments. Anker shared their approach to attracting the £60 million and outlined what you can expect to see from MISSION in the coming months.

The second of the two presenters was Mike Westby, CEO, Centauri Therapeutics and Director, Avvinity Therapeutics. In March, Horizon Discovery Group plc entered into the development of Immuno-Oncology Therapeutics by forming a Joint Venture with Centauri Therapeutics Limited. The result is Avvinity Therapeutics. Avvinity is deploying a powerful and proprietary platform to discover and develop novel immuno-oncology therapeutics, called Alphamers for both solid tumours and leukaemias. The scientific partnership brings together Centauri’s Alphamer platform and extensive experience in drug discovery and immunology with Horizon’s gene editing, immunology and translational oncology capabilities. Mike shared their exciting story of this novel JV and the plans to develop Alphamer drug candidates against a number of targets of unmet therapeutic need.

Following Q&A, drinks and canapés were circulated and informal networking continued until 9pm, when the event ended. Biotech and Money is extremely grateful to our speakers, those within our Community who made it down to EC4N for the 3hr event and to CMS for their gracious hosting in a superb location.

This event was a sell out, so in order not to miss an opportunity to attend our 21st June ‘Biotechs and the City Summer’ event, put a place holder in your diary and we’ll be sure to keep you abreast as plans develop for our Summer function.

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