St Andrews-based biotech company raises £3.8m

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Pneumagen has raised £3.8 million to advance manufacturing of its flagship Neumifil product.

The St Andrews-based clinical-stage biotech company has now secured £14m in capital so far, with the latest investment enabling it to take clinical development to the next stage.

Neumifil is being developed to provide pan-antiviral protection against respiratory viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and coronaviruses – including SARS-CoV-2 – with a self-administered nasal spray

Currently it is being evaluated in a phase I study, with first results expected in the first half of 2022. Phase II will see a controlled human challenge study against influenza conducted in the UK later this year.

Pneumagen will also now be able to continue manufacturing with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and conclude extensive toxicology studies to support the Phase II program.

The funding round was co-led by existing investors Thairm Bio and Scottish Enterprise.

Neumifil is a unique multivalent carbohydrate-binding molecule, generated using Pneumagen’s proprietary GlycoTarge technology platform, that works by binding to surface sialic acid receptors on epithelial cells in the airways, thereby stopping viruses at the site of infection, reducing their ability to enter cells in the airways and migrate to the lungs.

Douglas Thomson, CEO of Pneumagen, said: “This additional funding allows us to continue the rapid progress in the clinical development of Neumifil.

“As a new pan-antiviral, easy-to-use, self-administered treatment option, it has the potential to have a significant impact on reducing the risk of hospitalization and death, through the prevention and treatment of multiple viral respiratory infections, for patients who suffer from viral exacerbations of underlying chronic lung disease.

Kerry Sharp, Director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Having been impressed with the development of Pneumagen following our initial investment in 2016, Scottish Enterprise underscores our support for the business and solidifies our partnership with Thairm Bio through to an additional co-investment.

Paul Found, COO of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies UK, added: “Our expertise and capabilities in microbial process development and optimization will enable us to support Pneumagen in its scale-up for clinical trials of intermediate to advanced stage. ”

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