Investment in Australian collaboration targeting inflammatory lung conditions

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A new Australian biotechnology company with the launch of Ankere Therapeutics on the back of a $10 million seed investment.

The company will focus on the development of therapies for inflammatory lung disease underpinned by Australian research.

Its small molecule chemistry is harnessing research from a collaboration between Associate Professor Bernard Flynn of Monash University’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Professor Stuart Pitson of University of South Australia’s Centre for Cancer Biology.

The $10 million funding round was jointly led by IP Group and Brandon Capital, through Brandon BioCatalyst.

“Ankere is an example of how a strong partnership between researchers with a shared area of focus has the potential to address the most pressing health concerns,” said Ankere's chief scientific officer Professor Pitson.

“The combination of research, expertise and capital at Ankere, will support the project to advance its highly promising discovery which has the potential to lead to new therapies targeting inflammation.”

CEO and research director Associate Professor Flynn said, “We are excited to be developing disease-modifying therapies that have the potential to have a real global impact.”

Dr Melissa McBurnie, a partner at Brandon Capital and Ankere director, said, “We’re excited to co-lead on this investment with IP Group, we’re aligned with a strong focus on the life sciences and backing the best biomedical innovations.

“Collaboration is at the heart of the Brandon BioCatalyst model, we know that new therapies require different expert collaborators along the development path from the lab all the way through to patients in the clinic.”

Dr Siro Perez, the head of life sciences at IP Group Australia and Ankere director, added, “Ankere demonstrates what is possible when researchers from leading research centres come together.

“We are delighted to be working with the Ankere team and Brandon Capital to support this breakthrough research that has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people with chronic inflammatory conditions around the world. We are looking forward to sharing Ankere’s progress as they advance towards the clinic.”