BioEscalator resident biotech and Oxford spin-out, PepGen, has announced a $45M Series A funding round led by RA Capital Management with participation from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), the company’s original seed investor. The biotherapeutics company is utilising its novel cell-penetrating peptide (CCP) technology to target severe neuromuscular diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The University of Oxford and CureDuchenne, a leading patient advocacy group, also participated in the funding round.
PepGen will use the funding to advance into the clinic its next-generation cell-penetrating peptides conjugated to phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PPMOs) that are designed to correct genetic defects in diseases with high unmet medical need. PepGen’s proprietary PPMO technology will dramatically enhance delivery of oligonucleotides to key tissues, while also improving safety compared with competing therapies.
"PepGen’s CCP technology represents an important step change in that we have succeeded in optimising cellular uptake whilst simultaneously engineering out the safety signals that historically impacted earlier attempts at this approach. I am delighted to see our progress validated by support from top-tier investors, and look forward to seeing translation into the clinic."
PepGen co-founder Matthew Wood, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.
PepGen, whose technology arose from collaborations between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge was the BioEscalator's first tenant when it opened in September 2018.
"The BioEscalator facility has been hugely instrumental in the establishment of PepGen. Having our own lab space and access to high-quality shared facilities in Central Oxford has allowed us to rapidly progress our development programmes, and to recruit top tier scientific talent."
PepGen's founder and CEO, Dr Caroline Godfrey (pictured).