LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Engitix Ltd (‘Engitix’), a biopharmaceutical company with a pioneering and proprietary human extracellular matrix (ECM) drug target discovery platform today announced the close of its $54m Series A financing as well as a strategic collaboration with Dompé farmaceutici S.P.A (“Dompé”).
The round was co-led by existing investor Netherton Investments, a fund investing on behalf of Mike Platt, and included new investor Dompé, an Italian and US-based biopharmaceutical company. Following the financing, Mike Platt, the highly successful fund manager and co-founder and Managing Director of BlueCrest Capital Management and Gianluca Rossetti, Corporate Business Development Director at Dompé, have joined Engitix’s board of directors.
The agreement with Dompé, a biopharmaceutical company with next-generation chemo- and bioinformatic tools and an AI-driven drug discovery platform to deliver precision engineered medicines, includes both equity investment and a multi-year, multi-programme strategic R&D collaboration to support identification of new treatments against fibrosis and liver-associated solid tumours.
Engitix has established a portfolio of internal programmes in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and liver metastasis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), as well as partnered drug discovery programmes in fibrosis and solid tumours using its ECM platform.
Dompé will provide direct access to facilities, resources and expertise including its Exscalate structure-based drug design platform that exploits the capabilities of the Italian supercomputer center, CINECA, to accelerate its own drug discovery and development. The deal is ground-breaking as Engitix retains full control over its assets and programmes enabling it to transition from a technology platform to a biopharmaceutical product company, with Dompé being an important shareholder and eligible for clinical and commercial milestones and royalties on marketed products developed under the collaboration.
Marcello Allegretti, CSO of Dompé said, “Our mission is to improve people's lives and we partner with the best academic and industrial groups to accelerate the research that will bring new solutions to patients' unmet needs. We look forward to working with the Engitix team to combine the power of Exscalate with Engitix’s deep understanding of the biology of the fibrosis and solid tumours microenvironment and the unique strength of its ECM platform. Our collaboration will enable us to accelerate the clinical translation of targets beyond our four key in-house therapeutic areas of ophthalmology, metabolic disorders, oncology, and pain management.”
The financing will be used to invest in Engitix’s internal drug discovery pipeline through IND-enabling studies, expand its ECM discovery platform and bioinformatics capabilities into new therapeutic areas, and to expand its team, facilities and operations.
Alongside its internal pipeline, Engitix will seek to expand its pharma and biotech collaborations. It has an exclusive license agreement with Takeda in Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis worth more than $500m biodollars, and a previous partnership with Morphic Therapeutics in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Dr Giuseppe Mazza co-founder and CEO of Engitix said, “This financing and new partnership with Dompé enables us to continue our evolution from a platform to multi-asset mutli-programmes pre-clinical stage company and to continue to prove the value of our human ECM platform. We are pleased to have the continued backing of Mike Platt, and to have secured the support of Dompé as a partner and investor. This round will enable us to advance our pre-clinical programmes against targets identified using our ECM platform through candidate selection and IND-enabling studies.”
Mike Platt said, “I am prepared to take a risk and invest in innovative technology early, backing highly passionate teams with strong leadership. Having invested from the start, Engitix’s progress and achievements within less than two years from its seed financing have been impressive. The value of Engitix’s platform has been proven through the partnerships it has established and the pipeline of opportunities it has built. The collaboration with Dompé propels it to the next stage and I look forward to working with the board and investors to maximise Engitix’s full potential.”
In 2020 Engitix moved its headquarters to London’s WestWorks, White City Place (WCP), a growing campus of life sciences companies including a number of biotech and global pharma organisations notably GammaDelta Therapeutics, Autolus and Synthace, as well as Novartis. The Company plans to acquire more laboratory and office space to support its expansion to around 80 full time employees and to establish a fully integrated automated laboratory for high throughput screening (HTS) using its ECM platform.
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About Engitix Ltd
Engitix is developing a portfolio of internal & partnered drug discovery programmes in fibrosis and solid tumours using its pioneering human extracellular matrix (ECM) platform. The use of more physiologically relevant human in vitro models is transforming the ability to identify new targets, to develop more advanced treatments and to enable a more accurate prediction of the efficacy of therapeutic candidates. It has partnerships with Dompé farmaceutici and Takeda, and a previous partnership with Morphic Therapeutics.
Engitix was founded in 2016 to commercialise cutting-edge research at the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, Division of Medicine, University College London (UCL). The company is headquartered in Westworks, White City Place, London, UK.
A private company, Engitix investors include Netherton Investments, a fund investing on behalf of Mike Platt, and Dompé farmaceutici, an Italian and US-based biopharmaceutical company.
For more information, please visit www.engitix.com
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About Mike Platt
Mike Platt is the co-founder and CEO of BlueCrest Capital Management, which he started in late 2000 after nearly a decade at JP Morgan. Mike built BlueCrest into one of the world's largest hedge fund firms; at its peak, it managed more than $35 billion in assets. In 2015 he returned outside investors' money, remaking BlueCrest into a family office. The firm has flourished since then, generating a 95% net return in 2020 after returns in the 50% range in 2016, 2017 and 2019. His net worth is $13 billion.
About Dompé farmaceutici S.P.A
Dompé is a privately owned biopharmaceutical company with 130 years of history and expertise in life sciences. Headquartered in Milan, the company also has operations in Boston, San Francisco, and Shanghai. It conducts research activities as part of a network of over 300 centres and universities across the world. Dompé uses a variety of next generation proprietary chemo- and bioinformatic tools, including the Exscalate platform, one of the most powerful and cost-efficient intelligent supercomputing drug discovery platforms in the world.
For more information, please visit www.dompe.com
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