BioTech PhoreMost raises £33m to target ‘undruggable’ diseases

Posted on March 23, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

Dr Chris Torrance, PhoreMost

PhoreMost CEO Dr Chris Torrance

PhoreMost, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to ‘drugging the undruggable’ disease targets, has raised £33 million in a Series B investment round.  

The start-up’s SITESEEKER platform can rapidly identify how to develop novel drugs for any chosen disease setting. 

The round was led by BGF, the UK’s most active growth economy investor, and included new investors XtalPi Inc., Astellas Venture Management, Trend Investment Group, and o2h ventures.  

Existing investors Parkwalk Advisors, Morningside Ventures, and Jonathan Milner also contributed. 

The funding will be used to progress PhoreMost’s PLK1 programme, for the treatment of brain cancer, into the clinic within 18 months. 

It will also progress multiple additional internal first-in-class drug discovery programmes across both oncology and ageing therapeutic indications. 

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PhoreMost is at an incredibly exciting phase of development, having made tremendous progress since the Series A funding,” said CEO Dr Chris Torrance.  

“Our lead ‘Allosteric PLK1’ asset is well positioned for clinical entry and our SITESEEKER platform has made valuable discoveries within the targeted protein degradation, oncology and ageing fields.  

“This funding now positions PhoreMost well to prosecute asset development across these high value therapeutic areas.” 

Following the investment round, Dr Catherine Beech will assume the Chair of PhoreMost’s board of directors, succeeding Dr Jonathan Milner who will stay on the board as a non-executive director. 

Dr Beech joined PhoreMost as NED in February 2020. Also joining the Board are Tim Rea, investor at BGF, Alan Jiang, Chief Strategy Officer of XtalPi, and Neil Pegg representing Morningside Ventures. 

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Tim Rea, investor, BGF, said: “The team at BGF has been actively engaged in expanding our support for life sciences companies in the UK and we are excited to join the PhoreMost team on the next phase of their journey.  

The Company’s SITESEEKER technology is highly differentiated, addressing an important market need in the identification of novel drug sites within targets previously considered undruggable.  

We have been consistently impressed with the strong and experienced management team, and we believe PhoreMost is now in an ideal position to capitalise on the potential of its lead asset and innovative pipeline.” 

Dr Beech added: “Since joining PhoreMost’s Board I have continued to be impressed by the progress the company has made, both in terms of its own internal programmes as well as with a range of strategic collaborations.  

I am honoured to be appointed as Chair and look forward to working even more closely with Chris and the team during this exciting time for PhoreMost.” 

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