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Foundation fellow pioneering new class of cancer drugs

Last updated

04/06/20

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A spin-out company built on over a decade of research by one of our fellows, Laura Itzhaki, has now raised over £4 million of seed capital.

The biotechnology company, PolyProx Therapeutics, will develop a novel class of cancer drugs that are able to selectively target disease-causing proteins within tumour cells and trigger pathways to eliminate these proteins, thereby halting further tumour growth.

In 2012, we identified Dr Laura Itzhaki from the University of Cambridge as an emerging research leader doing important work on the biological processes underpinning cancer and degenerative disease. Thanks to the Sir Cusrow Wadia Research Fund, we were able to award a five-year senior fellowship, which helped Dr Itzhaki take forward her research and secure just over £1 million of support for 11 studentships.

Dr Itzhaki has since been able to build her research team from four to 13, train 13 PhD students, obtain a professorship position for herself at the University of Cambridge, and secure over £1.8 million in additional external grant funding.

Now a Professor of Structural Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge, and Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of PolyProx Therapeutics, Laura said: “We are thrilled to have closed the seed round, and this will enable us to grow the PolyProx team and further develop our technology over the next two years. Our platform, which harnesses the cell’s natural waste disposal system, should allow us to access many important targets that are not amenable to conventional drug discovery approaches. We are excited to continue the discovery process in our labs at the Babraham Research Campus as we enter the next phase of our development.”

To find out more, visit the PolyProx Therapeutics website.

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Our platform, which harnesses the cell’s natural waste disposal system, should allow us to access many important targets that are not amenable to conventional drug discovery approaches. Professor Laura Itzhaki

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