STORM Therapeutics raises £12 million series A funding to develop novel cancer therapeutics
STORM Therapeutics, a spin-out company from the University of Cambridge’s Gurdon Institute focused on the identification and development of small molecule drugs that target RNA-modifying enzymes, has received £12 million in Series ‘A’ funding from Cambridge Innovation Capital, Merck Ventures, Pfizer Venture Investments and Touchstone Innovations. STORM Therapeutics is based upon the ground-breaking work of its co-founders, Professor Tony Kouzarides and Professor Eric Miska, in the field of RNA epigenetics.
RNA (ribonucleic acid) is the only direct product of the human genome and acts as the template for the synthesis of all proteins, the molecular machines of the cell. RNA is also known to be a key player in cellular decision-making. There are several large families of RNA-modifying enzymes which catalyse a diverse range of epigenetic modifications of RNA, changing RNA activity and thereby key processes within the cell. There is a growing understanding of the importance of RNA modification in the development of cancer, opening up novel therapeutic targets in cancer treatment.
Professors Kouzarides and Miska and their research groups have identified certain of these RNA-modifying enzymes against which STORM Therapeutics intends to develop potential therapeutics using intellectual property licensed from the University of Cambridge and Cancer Research UK. The company will use the proceeds of the funding to identify small molecule modulators of these novel targets in RNA modification pathways and develop them into new classes of anti-cancer treatments.
Professors Tony Kouzarides and Eric Miska commented: “The work that our research groups are undertaking on non-coding RNA and the enzymes that modify this RNA is giving us incredibly interesting insights into how gene expression can be modified at a cellular level. The funding and support that STORM Therapeutics has received from its investors will allow the development of these insights into a new class of therapeutics ready to be taken into clinical trials.”