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Biotech Maxion Therapeutics secures £13m from investors

Maxion Therapeutics
Image credit: Maxion Therapeutics

A Cambridge-based biotechnology company has closed £13m in Series A funding led by LifeArc Ventures, with contributions from Monograph Capital and BGF.

Cambridge-based Maxion Therapeutics will put the capital towards its antibody drugs treating “ion channels and G-protein-coupled receptors”, which are the cell surface proteins associated with diseases such as chronic pain and autoimmune conditions.

Dr John McCafferty, CEO and co-founder, Maxion Therapeutics, said: “Until now, ion channels have been a blind spot for antibody therapeutics. Our KnotBody technology gives Maxion the opportunity to address this neglected target class and enable improved treatment of diseases driven by ion channels and GPCRs.”

Maxion Therapeutics was founded in 2020 by CEO Dr John McCafferty and CSO Dr Aneesh Karatt Vellatt.

McCafferty previously co-founded CAT, which was acquired for £700m by AstraZeneca, and IONTAS which went on to be bought by FairJourney Biologics. IONTAS was also co-founded by Vellatt.

In 2018, phage display technology, which McCafferty co-invented, was the subject of the Nobel Prize for chemistry.

Dr Sohaib Mir, senior investment principal, LifeArc Ventures, said: “Maxion’s founders are seeking to build a category-defining business, and LifeArc Ventures is delighted to collaborate with them as they start to build a promising pre-clinical pipeline.

“Led by a highly experienced and scientifically world-renowned team, Maxion has the potential to create novel therapies for the significant proportion of patients who fail to respond to current treatments in a wide range of diseases.”

Mir, Dr Tim Funnell from Monograph Capital and Lucy Edwardes Jones at BGF also join Maxion Therapeutics board as directors.