It’s only venture funding for cancer drugs, but I like it.
That’s the current vibe at Ellipses Pharma, the London-based drug development company backed by The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood. On Monday, the company received the backing of West Coast Capital, the investment arm of the family of Scottish businessman Sir Tom Hunter, as it eyes a potential listing in the U.S.
Ellipses Pharma, which was founded in 2015 by biotech entrepreneur Sir Chris Evans, recently received a multi-million pound investment from West Coast Capital.
“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,” Hunter said in a statement.
According to a press release from the private equity firm, Ellipses Pharma has invested $150 million into its clinical drugs pipeline with plans to invest another $100 million, of which $40 million has already been raised.
In addition to Wood, other prominent Ellipses Pharma investors have included Mohamed bin Zayed, president of the United Arab Emirates, as well as Steve Morgan, founder of the British house building company Redrow.
West Coast Capital added that Ellipses Pharma has three “very exciting” oncology drugs in development, including its next generation selective RET inhibitor EP0031/A400.
Ellipses Pharma has experienced significant momentum over the past month, announcing at the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting that it planned to accelerate the global clinical development of EP0031/A400 after releasing promising clinical data.
The treatment has been used for RET-altered cancers, with first trials focused on thyroid and non-small cell lung cancer.
One year prior to that announcement, the Food and Drug Administration cleared the company’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application for EP0031/A400, which was developed in partnership with Kelun-Biotech, a China-based corporation.
Going forward, Ellipses Pharma said it planned to use the momentum from the IND clearance to initiate a global, modular Phase 1/2 trial of EP0031/A400, with clinical sites across the U.S. and Europe.