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New Oxford start-up is established to develop novel therapeutics based on the expertise of the Davis and Cornall groups at MRC HIU.

Vials.png © Martin Phelps

MiroBio, a novel therapeutics company based on insights into the regulation of receptor signalling in immune cells, has raised £27m ($34m) from a syndicate of international specialist life sciences investors Oxford Sciences Innovation and Samsara Biocapital co-led the round and have been joined by Advent Life Sciences and SR One. Proceeds from the Series A fundraising will allow the company to advance its lead programmes, strengthen its proprietary platform, expand its discovery efforts, and build out its management team for the next phase of growth. In conjunction with the financing, Srini Akkaraju MD/PhD, Managing General Partner of Samsara Biocapital, Deborah Harland PhD, Partner of SROne, Andrew Mclean MD, Principal of OSI and Shahzad Malik MD, General Partner of Advent Life Sciences, will join the Board of Directors. 

MiroBio’s unique platform has its foundations in research and technology from the laboratories of Simon Davis, Professor of Molecular Immunology at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (Radcliffe Department of Medicine), and Richard Cornall, Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford. The company is developing proprietary antibodies and variants to stimulate specific immune cell signals, allowing MiroBio to harness the natural control mechanisms of the immune system for therapeutic benefit across a range of diseases. Initially, MiroBio will focus on applications in auto-immune disease, and is exploring other applications opportunistically.

Dr Srini Akkaraju, Samsara Biocapital, said, “MiroBio has an innovative approach to regulating immune cell activity.  By combining this understanding of receptor signalling with detailed knowledge of disease biology and expertise in drug development, we are building a compelling company which has the potential to create meaningful new medicines in a variety of therapeutic indications.”

“MiroBio has a robust technology and the ambition to bring new medicines to patients in need of improved therapies,” said Dr Eliot Charles, Executive Chairman of MiroBio and Venture Partner at SROne.  “To help realize this goal, we have assembled a strong syndicate of leading healthcare investors who have a solid track record of creating successful biotech companies and backing world leading teams like the one we have started to build.”

Professor Simon Davis, said, “We have been studying key aspects of signalling through immune cell receptors for over 15 years.  Working collaboratively with MiroBio and its investors, we now have the opportunity to translate our insights, ideas and technologies into important new medicines that could significantly improve patients’ lives.”