• Funds will be used to build out Myricx Bio’s proprietary payload platform and advance its pipeline through clinical proof of concept.
  • Novo Holdings Venture Investments Partner Michael Bauer will join Myricx Board of Directors and Principal Max Klement will join Myricx Board as an Observer.
  • This is the largest European biotech Series A financing this year.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark I July 8, 2024 I Novo Holdings, a leading life science investor, today announces that it has co-led a £90 million ($114 million) Series A financing for Myricx Bio (‘Myricx’), the largest European biotech Series A financing this year. Myricx Bio is a UK biotech company focusing on the discovery and development of a novel payload class for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).

The funds will be used to advance Myricx’s proprietary pipeline of N-Myristoyltransferase inhibitor (NMTi) ADCs through clinical proof of concept, targeting clinically validated tumor-associated antigens and addressing serious unmet needs in oncology. Led by a team of drug hunters and internationally renowned scientists with small molecule and ADC drug development experience and outstanding track records of successes, Myricx is a spinout from Imperial College London and the Francis Crick Institute. The Company will establish laboratory operations in London and expand its Management and R&D teams.

Michael Bauer, Partner, Venture Investments, Novo Holdings said: “Myricx has gained unique insights into the biology of NMT and its orthogonal and differentiated mechanism. The scientific rationale behind its novel payload chemistry gives us confidence that NMTi ADCs have the potential to greatly expand the current repertoire of ADC applications beyond the current standard-of-care payload classes, creating opportunities for new treatment options for patients. This investment reflects our strategy of investing in highly innovative and high impact biotechs, and we look forward to supporting the progress of Myricx through the clinic.”  

In connection with the financing, Michael Bauer will join the Myricx Board of Directors. Additionally, Max Klement, Principal, Venture Investments, Novo Holdings, will join the Myricx Board as an Observer.

Myricx Bio Chief Executive Officer, Dr Robin Carr, added: “We welcome our new investors, including Novo Holdings, and thank them for their support as we enter our next phase of development. Myricx now has the resources to grow into a fully-fledged R&D company with our own laboratories, and an in-house R&D team with expanded management capabilities. Consequently, we are well positioned to build on our NMTi ADC platform and advance our pipeline as we become a clinical stage company.”

NMT is an enzyme that adds a specific lipid modification to a number of protein targets key to cancer cell survival. The ADC field is currently dominated by two key payload classes, microtubule and topoisomerase inhibitors, with patients susceptible to the acquired resistance leading to the need for greater payload diversification with a novel, orthogonal and differentiated mechanism of action.

Myricx has shown that NMTi ADCs achieve complete and durable tumor regressions, at well tolerated doses, in multiple solid cancer models that are refractory to topoisomerase inhibitor-based ADCs. In addition, NMTi ADCs demonstrate potent bystander activity, and deliver high efficacy in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) organoid models across a broad range of antigen expression levels.

Novo Holdings co-led the financing together with Abingworth, with additional new investors British Patient Capital (BPC), a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank and Eli Lilly & Company, and current investors Sofinnova Partners and Brandon Capital.

About Novo Holdings A/S

Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S and Novonesis A/S (Novozymes A/S) and manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. In addition to managing a broad portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate, infrastructure and private equity assets, Novo Holdings is a world-leading life sciences investor. Through its Seeds, Venture, Growth, Asia, Planetary Health Investments and Principal Investments teams, Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development.

As of year-end 2023, Novo Holdings had total assets of EUR 149 billion. www.novoholdings.dk

About Myricx Bio

Myricx Bio is a UK biotech company focused on the discovery and development of a completely novel class of payloads for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), based on inhibitors of N-myristoyltransferases (NMT) for the treatment of cancer. 

Myricx was founded by Prof Ed Tate, Dr Roberto Solari and Dr Andrew Bell. Dr Robin Carr joined the team from GSK in 2019 and has spearheaded the company’s pivot from a focus on NMTi as small molecule drugs to their potential as ADC payloads.

NMT is an enzyme that adds a specific lipid modification to a number of protein targets key to cancer cell survival. Myricx is advancing a pipeline of ADCs to address serious unmet needs in oncology based on its NMT inhibitor (NMTi) payload chemistry platform and has demonstrated excellent preclinical efficacy and safety across multiple solid tumour associated antigens and cancer cell types.

Based in London, Myricx is a spin out from Imperial College London and the Francis Crick Institute with investment from Sofinnova Partners and Brandon Capital Partners. www.myricxbio.com

About ADCs

ADCs, described as targeted chemotherapy, are leading a new era of cancer therapy, owing to their ability to selectively kill cancer cells via cytotoxic payloads delivered directly to the tumor cells. An ADC consists of three components: a monoclonal antibody (mAb); a payload designed to kill the tumor cells; and a linker that connects the two. The mAb targets tumor antigens on the cell surface, delivering the cytotoxic payload only to the intended cells, while sparing normal tissue. This targeted delivery of the cytotoxic payload avoids high systemic exposure and therefore reduces toxicity typically associated with chemotherapy.

SOURCE: Novo Holdings