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Our investment in NanoSyrinx

20 Jul 2021 By Uzma Choudry

Investment thesis

  • NanoSyrinx has developed a novel drug delivery platform (a nanosyringe) that allows targeted delivery of biologics into diseased cells.
  • The ability to specifically target a drug to diseased cells without affecting healthy ones is considered the Holy Grail for the treatment of complex diseases including cancer. 
  • Delivering functional biologics to the interiors of cells, via engineered protein ‘nanosyringes’, would open up an entirely new range of targets for drug development, that were previously inaccessible.
  • The initial applications of this technology will be in the cell and gene therapy space (CGT), creating, for example, highly effective cancer treatments with significantly reduced side effects. Therefore, NanoSyrinx will likely face the strongest pull from the immuno-oncology and the CGT space – both multibillion-dollar markets.

Who are the pioneers?

  • Joe Healey developed the NanoSyrinx platform and IP as part of his PhD in the field of synthetic biology at the University of Warwick’s Medical School. As well as being responsible for the technical development of the platform as a CSO, Joe is leading the business as CEO.
  • Nick Waterfield is a Professor at the Warwick Medical School. Nick has over 18 years of experience in the molecular biology field and co-founded NanoSyrinx whilst supervising the project. He retains his academic position at Warwick and advises the company in a non-exec scientific advisory and directorship capacity.
  • James Lapworth is responsible for commercial strategy, IP and business development. He is a business development manager at the University of Warwick’s tech transfer office and he currently observes the boards of a number of biotech and biomaterial spinouts from the university. James has been instrumental in spinning the business out and developing initial engagements with pharma to map out a pipeline of potential co-development opportunities.
  • Dr. Jane Dancer, NED, brings invaluable commercial experience within Pharma to the company. Jane’s past roles include CBO at F-Star and Director of Business Development at MedImmune.
  • Dr Steve Taylor, Chairman, has been working with the team for several years to get the business ready for investment, particularly with regard to CMC questions. Steve has over 30 years experience in the biotech and CDMO sectors including SVP Commercial with Fujifilm Diosynth and serving on the BIA board.  

Why us?

NanoSyrinx is an early-stage biotech business spun out of the University of Warwick. Our close involvement with the university spinout ecosystem (2020’s Spinning out Success report here) makes us well placed to help the team evolve into the wider market. NanoSyrinx will be joining other biotech companies in our portfolio, such as Ori Biotech, and our Talent Team is ready to help expand the company beyond its technical and academic core as it scales. 

Given the pioneering and cutting edge platform NanoSyrinx is developing, it is by nature R&D-heavy and capital-intensive. The long-term nature of investing in this space matches our patient capital history and our evergreen fund structure. On a more personal level, the investment team’s backgrounds include biotech, life sciences and synthetic biology bringing individual and specific knowledge of the technology right into the core of the relationship. 

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