Funding deal

SNIB backs faster delivery of cancer treatment

Paul Callaghan, Clare Wareing and Andrew McNeill

Cancer therapeutics development specialist, Cumulus Oncology, has secured a £9 million package to expand its portfolio of companies and help accelerate the way new drugs are delivered.

The Edinburgh-based business creates spin-out companies involved in the development of groundbreaking cancer treatments.

The latest funding includes £6 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank, alongside further support from St Andrews-based Eos Advisory.

Founder and CEO of Cumulus Oncology Dr Clare Wareing said: “Oncology remains a vast and important area of scientific and clinical research.

“The ultimate goal is to increase the success rates at the vital phase III end of clinical testing, which currently remains at below 50%.

“The support from the Scottish National Investment Bank means we can both support our existing companies, expand our portfolio and continue to develop the next generation of cancer therapies.”

Dr Wareing founded Cumulus in 2017, establishing the first organisation in Europe with a unique business model focused on accelerating the development of new cancer treatments. Its aim is to fast-track therapies for cancers that don’t respond well to existing treatments.

The first company to be created – Nodus Oncology – has two innovative drug discovery programmes ongoing. Nodus is actively engaged in the area of DNA damage response (DDR). The second company, currently in stealth mode, is set to be unveiled in early 2024.

Paul Callaghan, investment director at the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “Cumulus, aided by an extremely experienced and capable team, is innovating not only in the science, but in the entire process of how drugs are moved from discovery to later stage clinical trials. We are really pleased to be helping them achieve their ambitions and shine a spotlight on Scotland’s drug discovery capabilities.”

Andrew McNeill, managing partner of Eos Advisory, added: “The Cumulus approach is one that supports the development of a range of cancer treatments, this inherently reduces risk by not placing reliance on one therapeutic candidate. 

“We see this as a really exciting and novel business model, with a team who have the track record of having brought 17 new cancer drugs to market throughout their careers.  Eos has been proud to support Cumulus since its inception.”

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