Effective treatment of AID is still a considerable area of unmet medical requirements

Maxion Therapeutics has announced that it has been awarded a £2m grant from Innovate UK. The financing represents part of its Biomedical Catalyst 2022 Round 2: Industry-led R&D funding competition.

The vital funds will uphold the use of Maxion’s proprietary KnotBody platform, which develops antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases (AID) – particularly those with high unmet clinical need.

Effective treatment of AID is still a critical medical challenge and a considerable area of unmet medical requirements. At present, 4% of the world’s population – around 300 million people – are thought to be suffering from upwards of 80 different autoimmune conditions.

Indeed, across the UK alone, four million people live with an autoimmune condition. This figure is also increasing by 3-9% annually.

The financing – which originates from UK Research and Innovation – is an element of a £25m investment in projects to support UK-registered businesses in developing innovative solutions to take on significant health or healthcare challenges.

The news follows Maxion’s revelation earlier in the year that it had completed a £13m Series A financing. This round was led by LifeArc Ventures, and also included BGF and Monograph Capital as equal participants.

Dr Aneesh Karatt Vellatt, chief scientific officer and co-founder at Maxion Therapeutics, is optimistic about the influence innovation can have: “KnotBody technology overcomes many of the challenges presented by conventional antibody development techniques, with an ability to specifically target ion channels linked to chronic autoimmune diseases.”

He added: “We are excited by the potential therapeutic candidates in our pipeline, and this new funding from Innovate UK will allow us to expedite their development and progress the most promising drug candidate towards clinical trials.”

Dr John McCafferty, chief executive officer and co-founder at Maxion Therapeutics, said: “We are delighted to receive this substantial award from Innovate UK, to support the use of our KnotBody technology to develop therapeutics against this important but challenging class of targets.”

He added: “Our ultimate goal is to significantly improve the quality of life of patients by preventing and treating devastating autoimmune conditions, through the expansion and optimisation of our innovative pipeline of candidate therapeutics.”