Grey Wolf Therapeutics has completed a £10 million series A financing to fund development of immuno-oncology therapies to increase tumour visibility.

The financing round was completed with leading international healthcare investors Andera Partners and Canaan.

The drug discovery biotech’s approach is aimed at directly altering tumour cells, illuminating them for attack and destruction by the immune system.

The company is developing small molecule modulators of endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidases (ERAPs), key proteins in the antigen presentation pathway, to change the neoantigen repertoire in tumours and thereby increase the number and range of neoantigens presented on tumour cells available to engage an immune response.

“The recent breakthroughs in immunotherapy have fundamentally changed the treatment landscape in oncology, but the fact remains that current approaches only target the minority of tumours that are visible to the immune system, whilst the vast majority of cancers do not respond,” said Peter Joyce, the firm's chief executive.

Grey Wolf has programmes targeting the two homologues of ERAP, ERAP1 and ERAP2, aimed at developing potent and selective modulators, with the lead program being against ERAP1.

Joyce continued, “There is strong validation for targeting ERAPs to increase tumour visibility and with these funds we are now positioned to build on our existing work and collaborations to deliver a clinical candidate in the coming two to three years.”

Grey Wolf is working with the University of Oxford, University of Southampton and has a strategic partnership with Sygnature Discovery, a leading independent provider of drug discovery resources and expertise. Sygnature is also an investor in the company.