Biotech backed

Hunter joins Rolling Stone in cancer drugs venture

Tom Hunter at Scottish Edge
Sir Tom Hunter: very exciting

Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital has invested in a cancer drugs venture set up by one of the UK’s top biotech entrepreneurs.

The Scottish businessman’s family investment arm has joined Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, Redrow founder Steve Morgan and the president of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed, as a backer of Ellipses Pharma, founded by Sir Christopher Evans.

Ellipses is said to have three “very exciting” oncology drugs in clinical trials and Sir Christopher has been encouraged by findings presented to the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (Asco) conference in Chicago last month.

The company has pumped $150 million into its clinical drugs pipeline and is planning to invest another $100m, of which $40m was raised recently.

Sir Tom, who has invested several millions, said: “I’ve known Chris for over 25 years and invested with him over the years. This investment for us is very exciting – the quality of the team, world class use of expert knowledge and the intelligent disruption of financing the drug discovery… and then of course led by the force of nature that is Professor Sir Chris Evans.”

London-based Ellipses Pharma is focused on accelerating the development of cancer treatments, using a cloud-based platform to crowdsource scientific and clinical insight from its key opinion leaders which allows them to provide responses anonymously.

It announced in March that the number of oncology experts within its Scientific Affairs Group had increased to more than 200.

The experts, which are drawn from more than 100 institutions in Europe, the US, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East-North Africa, provide analysis and advice on the selection of promising potential cancer medicines.

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