University of Dundee spin-out bags £4m to develop active biologic drugs

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Biologics biotech Virus

UK-based biotech Glen Clova Scientific has raised £4 million in seed financing to develop a pipeline of a new generation of active biologic drugs.

The round was led by Norcliffe Capital together with investment from DSW Ventures, TRICAPITAL Angels and Scottish Enterprise.

A spin-out from the University of Dundee, Scotland, the company is developing biologics for chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

With this latest cash injection, Glen Clova Scientific will advance the preclinical development of its three initial drug candidates – GCS001 for treatment of senile pruritus, GCS002 for atopic dermatitis and GCS003 for eczema and asthma.

The company has also developed a novel Virus-like particles (VLP) platform which underpins its product development pipeline.

Steven Powell, co-founder of Glen Clova Scientific, said: “Our GCS VLP platform has the potential to produce a new generation of active biologic drugs offering both enhanced performance and a simpler, more cost-effective manufacturing process compared with existing biologic drugs.

“We believe that these drugs can have a significant impact on large patient populations with poorly met medical needs. We are delighted to have attracted support from a syndicate of high-quality, experienced investors to finance the development of our drug development pipeline and the continued expansion of our proprietary technology platform.”

Glen Clova Scientific’s pre-clinical candidates are based on two decades of research in VLPs by co-founder Dr John Foerster and his team at the University of Dundee.

Dr. Foerster’s group claims to have overcome many of the current limitations of VLP including structural fragility, costly manufacture and poor stability.

Patricia Reynolds, CEO of Norcliffe Capital, said the investment firm is ‘delighted’ to be supporting the biotech in its mission to develop a new generation of biological drugs to treat poorly met medical needs in autoimmune and dermatological conditions.

“The immunisation technology developed by Dr John Foerster, using VLPs is a major innovation for an already successful technology. It will improve both the quality of the products and the cost of manufacturing, opening out applications outside Glen Clova’s core interests.

“Key factors in our investment decisions were the leadership provided by an experienced CEO, Dr Steven Powell, the support of our co-investors and the environment at the University of Dundee which has an outstanding track record in developing spinout companies.”

Moray Martin, CEO of TRICAPITAL, shared Reynold’s excitement, adding that Dr. John Foerster’s work ‘further confirms that Scotland is at the forefront of advancing innovative solutions in biotechnology and healthcare’.

Doug Quinn, partner at DSW Ventures, commented: “Inflammatory skin conditions affect millions worldwide, but current treatments require regular injections and frequent monitoring and often have side effects. Glen Clova’s treatment would offer new hope for these patients and at less than 20% of the cost of comparable drugs. We look forward to working with the team to support the development of this exciting opportunity.”

The investment will be made in two tranches of £2.5m and £1.5m.

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