Oxford startup SpyBiotech raises £4m Seed


SpyBiotech, a startup spun out of Oxford University, has raised £4m in Seed funding from GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI).

The biotech firm has developed a molecular “superglue” designed to tackle diseases and pandemics. The team believes this could be used to create vaccines more quickly than is currently possible.

SpyBiotech will use its new funding to prepare for phase one trials and is initially focusing on virus-like particles (VLPs), which use vaccination to induce immune responses.

Lachlan MacKinnon, principal at OSI, said: “We see the Spy technology as the missing link in rapid and robust VLP vaccine design and see GV as a natural co-investment partner to take this forward.

“We are privileged to be working with four founders who bring such an impressive combination of academic prowess and clinical-stage experience to the company.”

Gregg Bayes-Brown, marketing and communications manager at Oxford University Innovation, suggested he hopes this ends up being the first in a series of investments made by GV into Oxford University companies.

“We rarely ever see a corporate like GV come in at the seed into university companies. If this is the start of a new trend, it could be massive,” he told The Telegraph.

Earlier this month, London-based biotech firm Pulmocide closed a $30.4m Series B round.

The company, which is run by former GlaxoSmithKline scientists, received investment from SV Life Sciences, Johnson & Johnson’s venture capital arm.