Macrophage Pharma Limited (‘MPL’) the immuno-oncology research and development company focused on macrophage modulation in the tumour microenvironment (TME), announced today that it has raised additional funding from Merck Ventures to complete the Series A Financing announced in January 2017. Merck Ventures joins the existing investor syndicate of CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF), Novo Holdings A/S and Aglaia Biomedical Ventures BV with an equal size of investment. Senior Investment Director Hakan Goker from Merck Ventures joins Macrophage Pharma’s Board of Directors.
The financing will enable Macrophage Pharma to complete the first clinical study of its lead development candidate, a macrophage targeted p38MAP kinase inhibitor, as well as advancing two additional discovery candidates into preclinical development. The Company is also planning to utilise the additional capital by adding a fourth macrophage-targeted project into its pipeline.
Commenting on the completion of the financing round Ian Miscampbell, Non-Executive Chairman of Macrophage Pharma, said: “We are pleased to welcome Merck Ventures
to our existing investor syndicate. Their commitment represents further validation of the Company’s novel approach in the immuno-oncology field and enables us to expand our pipeline.”
Hakan Goker, Senior Investment Director at Merck Ventures, added: “We are excited to join this experienced management team and investor syndicate to help translate this immuno-oncology pipeline into clinical development. Macrophage Pharma impressed us with the initial data generated. The differentiated, novel approach they are following in the TME offers promise for the immuno-oncology armoury of clinicians to address a broad range of cancers.”
Macrophage Pharma’s ESM™ technology platform is designed to deliver small molecule drugs to macrophages in a highly selective manner, activating the body's natural immune system to fight cancer. The ESM™ technology platform has the ability to provide next-generation immunotherapies for a number of different cancers and larger patient populations.
The Company's lead p38MAPi programme is focused on a novel macrophage-targeting p38 MAPK inhibitor. Clinical trials are scheduled to start in 2018. The Company is also developing additional programmes against novel targets centred on a number of proprietary, candidate compounds.