News & Views
Strong Investor Support for Cell Rejuvenation Technology
Jun 23 2022
University of Exeter spin-out SENISCA has raised more than £2 million from existing investors, to take its cell rejuvenation technology to the next stage of development. Following a strong performance since launch, a fundraising was over-subscribed, with current organisations re-investing in this latest seed round including R42 Fund, Emerging Longevity Ventures, Longevity Tech Fund and Trend Ventures. The company also welcomes on board QantX and APEX Ventures as new investors.
“From the beginning we were impressed by the scientific excellence Lorna and the SENISCA team showed”, says Dr Diana Röttger, Principal at APEX Ventures. “SENISCA’s discoveries in cell rejuvenation have a vast potential as they target a large set of age related diseases at their origin and thereby can profoundly impact today’s treatment options. APEX is at the forefront of disruptive medical technologies and we are thrilled to partner with SENISCA.”
QantX CEO Richard Haycock, said: “We are delighted to be supporting a highly innovative team with potentially ground breaking technology in the field of age related disease. QantX invests in South West based companies that have global potential and SENISCA is a great example of the partnership between capital and talent that we seek to nurture."
The £2.15m of cash funds raised supplements the recent award of a £180,000 grant from Innovate UK, the third non-dilutive funding grant that the company has been awarded since incorporation in 2020.
SENISCA’s innovation, restores functional levels of RNA splicing factors (which are essential for cellular responses), by taking old or ‘senescent’ cells and effectively resetting the cellular ageing clock. This latest funding will enable progression of its anti-ageing compounds to the next phase of ex vivo laboratory tests, as well as expand its management team. The next seed round is scheduled for early 2023 and will seek to raise more than £5 million.
Kirsty Semple, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This latest investment is cementing our place as a global leader in developing medicines to target the causes of ageing. Our long-standing RNA biology expertise and world class laboratory facilities place us amongst the front runners in the development of drugs that target mRNAs, the product of our genes, which is one of the fastest growing drug development sectors. We aim to be among the first UK-based teams to employ this emerging science in the context of complex age-related disease.”
Professor Lorna Harries, Chief Scientific Officer, said: “This new investment will allow us to move our emerging innovations rapidly through our development program towards pre-clinical evaluation. We are developing a program of small molecule and targeted oligonucleotide therapeutics, together with biomarker discovery, to persuade cells back to a more youthful and functional state. This will hopefully allow cells, tissues and organs associated with common chronic disease to repair damage and remain functional for longer.”
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