• New Candidates for MS Sought by Scottish Spin Out
    Professor Siddharthan Chandran

News & Views

New Candidates for MS Sought by Scottish Spin Out

Mar 02 2020

Edinburgh spin-out Pheno Therapeutics, focused on investigating novel treatments that may reverse the effects of multiple sclerosis, (MS) will search for new drugs that aim to repair damage to the nervous system and significantly improve patients’ debilitating symptoms.
Backed by Series A funding of £5 million over its first three years and building on original research by Professors Siddharthan Chandran and Neil Carragher of the University of Edinburgh, the new company aims to develop new therapies for MS by identifying novel molecules that cause the body to repair or replace the damaged myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells. This so-called remyelination process has the potential to slow or arrest the progressive disability caused by MS.

Pheno Therapeutics is supported by Advent Life Sciences, the London-based venture capital firm; the Scottish Investment Bank, with backing from the Scottish Government through the Scottish Growth Scheme; and independent medical research charity LifeArc. 

Co-founder Professor Siddharthan Chandran said: “There are no interventions for people with later stage multiple sclerosis, which is a devastating and debilitating condition. The opportunity for this company is to bring new and repurposed therapeutics to clinical trials and, by doing so, meet an urgent and currently unmet need."

Key to the company’s potential impact in MS treatments is the University’s advanced cell based technology platform, which enables the screening of large compound libraries on novel human cellular platforms, in addition to the founders’ and investors’ combination of clinical and drug discovery expertise. Pheno Therapeutics intends to optimise the leads emerging from its cutting edge phenotypic screens via medicinal chemistry to deliver new candidate compounds that will progress through pre-clinical tests then proof-of-concept clinical trials.


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