• Project Awarded £3.14 Million for Anticoagulant Development
    Helen Philippou
  • Andy Duley
  • Peter Simpson

News & Views

Project Awarded £3.14 Million for Anticoagulant Development

Jan 29 2020

An 18-month collaboration between drug discovery company LUNAC Therapeutics, the Medicines Discovery Catapult and the University of Leeds has been awarded £3.14M funding under Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst programme to develop a first-in-class drug to prevent the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel (thrombosis). The organisations will work together to optimise and advance the discovery of a new class of highly specific anticoagulant compounds that block an activated clotting enzyme, Factor XII (FXIIa), for which there is strong evidence that inhibition will not increase the risk of bleeding.

New anticoagulant treatments have the potential to save in excess of £2.7 billion per year, by impacting on bleeding and stroke episodes in Europe alone.

Prof Helen Philippou, Scientific Founder of LUNAC Therapeutics, said: “New anticoagulant treatments are desperately needed. LUNAC’s research has shown that targeting activated Factor XII has the potential to offer a new treatment option for patients, and we are therefore delighted to have secured Biomedical Catalyst funding to help drive this exciting project forward.”

Dr. Peter Simpson, Chief Scientific Officer of Medicines Discovery Catapult, said: “Bringing together deep disease understanding from Leeds and LUNAC with the extensive drug discovery and development experience of the Medicines Discovery Catapult creates an exciting programme with the potential to transform the landscape of anticoagulant treatments and to impact the lives of patients who rely on such treatments in a meaningful way.”

Mr Andy Duley, Director of Commercialisation, University of Leeds said: “This new collaboration will address the need for anti-clotting therapies with great efficacy and minimal bleeding risk. The differentiation of this approach should eliminate the risk of increased bleeding, marking a step-change in the management of the thrombosis.”

This follows the recent announcement of the spin out of LUNAC from the University of Leeds, (Nov 2019) with £2.65M funding in the first close of a Series A financing round led by Epidarex Capital.

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