Pharma Focus Asia

RxCelerate Establishes Venture Capital Division and Makes First Investment in US Metabolic Disease Company

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

RxCelerate, a leading international out-sourced drug discovery and development platform, announced today that it has established a venture capital fund, RxCapital, to invest in companies developing new therapeutics for significant unmet medical needs.

"RxCelerate has a world-class team discovering and developing exciting new medicines for our clients," said Dr. Jill Reckless, Chief Executive at RxCelerate, "but to avoid conflict of interest, we do not have any internal programs, and do not, therefore, benefit from owning successful assets. By establishing RxCapital, we are able to enjoy the economic upside of asset ownership without compromising our ability to work single-mindedly for the benefit of our clients."

RxCapital will invest in early-stage biotechnology companies working on novel therapeutics with an unprecedented mechanism of action, offering the ability to revolutionise treatment of major diseases. Unlike many CROs, investment from RxCapital comes with no requirement for the company to use RxCelerate services. "RxCapital acts as a typical financial investor, providing the capital required for the next generation of biotech entrepreneurs to change the world," said Dr David Grainger, Executive Chairman at RxCelerate.

RxCapital will invest in new companies in any geography, following the "asset-centric" investment model pioneered by Medicxi, where Dr. Grainger was a founding Partner in 2015. RxCapital expects to deploy up to £1 million on each investment and to make several investments each year.

RxCapital has made its first investment, alongside Longitude, a U.S. venture fund based in Menlo Park, California, and Medicxi, in U.S. biotechnology company Rivus Pharmaceuticals, which is developing HU6, a novel drug candidate for the treatment of metabolic diseases. HU6 is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.

"The formation of RxCapital marks an exciting new development for RxCelerate, allowing us to deploy capital from our highly-profitable service business to support new entrepreneurs with a vision to change medicine," said Nick Tait, Chief Financial Officer at RxCelerate, who will manage the newly established fund.

RxCelerate operates a unique model, allowing clients to out-source complete drug discovery and development programs to a team of world-class drug developers obviating the need for internal expertise usually required when out-sourcing to contract research organisations. Founded in 2012, the company initially built its reputation on the quality of its preclinical models of human diseases, but rapidly expanded to offer a comprehensive, turnkey drug discovery and development solution.

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