Scientists based in Bristol working
on leading edge medical treatments have secured new funding of over £1.4 million from a number of sources.
Argonaute RNA is working on
creating medicines that harness the body’s natural cell mechanisms to silence
specific genes and combat illness.
Lead investor in the round is The
Fink Family Office, a prominent investor in exciting UK tech businesses. It is led by Lord Stanley Fink, ex
Conservative party treasurer and ex CEO of Man Group, who said: “Gene silencing
can be a paradigm shift in healthcare.
It offers hope to millions suffering from diseases of genetic
origin. The UK needs to compete in the
vanguard of this new field, which is why the government recently set up the
Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator to assist in addressing technological
challenges and speeding up clinical developments. Argonaute RNA is exactly the sort of venture
we need to see academic research turned into life-saving drugs. We are excited to be involved.”
Further backing comes from the Bristol Private Equity Club, a network of Bristol-based
entrepreneurs, and Cardiff-based CatSci Ltd, which specialises in leveraging
its skills and knowledge of process research & development to make highly
targeted investments in pharmaceutical innovation.
Jerry Barnes, founder of Bristol Private
Equity Club, said: “The importance of developing new medical treatments has
been brought home to all with the fast tracking of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Often the only barrier slowing
development of medicines is funding, so we are delighted to be supporting this Bristol-based
Anthony Parker, Executive Chairman
of Argonaute RNA, said: “RNA interference is an entirely new class of medicines. It has taken twenty years to get from test
tube to pharmacy, but 2021 is the breakthrough year. Our unique patented platform in this field
has been built over the past five years but our team in aggregate has decades
of RNAi drug development experience in industry. We will be using these funds to demonstrate to
potential partners in the pharmaceutical sector how we can solve some of the
key challenges for RNAi drug development.
We are fortunate to benefit from the emergence of Bristol as a biotech
hub and to have access to such a high quality talent pool and support of
knowledgeable investors. The next twelve
months promise to be tremendously exciting.”
This funding round was led by Dr
Johnathan Matlock, Non-Executive Director of Argonaute RNA, who said: “Funding
for early-stage Biotech companies can be challenging, so I’m delighted to have brought
together an exceptional group of investors who saw the potential for this
technology. This funding will allow Argonaute RNA to advance our therapies towards
the clinic and one step closer to patients.”