Scottish National Investment Bank backs faster access to cancer treatment

08/01/2024
Left to Right: Andrew McNeil (Eos Advisory), Dr Clare Wareing (Cumulus), Paul Callaghan (The Bank)

CANCER therapeutics development specialist, Cumulus Oncology, has secured a £9 million funding package.

The Edinburgh-based business creates spin-out companies involved in the development of groundbreaking new cancer treatments.

Cumulus will use the funding, which includes £6 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank, to expand its portfolio of companies and help accelerate the way new cancer drugs are progressed from discovery, through clinical trials to patients.

Founder and CEO Dr Clare Wareing said: “Oncology remains a vast and important area of scientific and clinical research.

“The ultimate goal is to increase the success rates at the vital phase III end of clinical testing, which currently remains at below 50%.

“The support from the Scottish National Investment Bank means we can both support our existing companies, expand our portfolio and continue to develop the next generation of cancer therapies.”

Dr Wareing founded Cumulus in 2017, establishing the first organisation in Europe with a unique business model focused on accelerating the development of new cancer treatments.

Its aim is to fast-track therapies for cancers that don’t respond well to existing treatments.

The first company to be created by Cumulus Oncology – Nodus Oncology – has two innovative drug discovery programmes ongoing. Nodus is actively engaged in the area of DNA damage response (DDR). The second company, currently in stealth mode, is set to be unveiled in early 2024.

Paul Callaghan, investment director at the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “Cumulus, aided by an extremely experienced and capable team, is innovating not only in the science, but in the entire process of how drugs are moved from discovery to later stage clinical trials. We are really pleased to be helping them achieve their ambitions and shine a spotlight on Scotland’s drug discovery capabilities.”

The Bank has invested alongside Eos Advisory to secure the £9million of funding.

St Andrews-based Eos Advisory provides funding support to innovation ventures in science, technology, and engineering.

The firm’s investor relations are managed by partner and world record breaking cyclist, Mark Beaumont.

Andrew McNeil, managing partner of Eos Advisory, added: “The Cumulus approach is one that supports the development of a range of cancer treatments, this inherently reduces risk by not placing reliance on one therapeutic candidate.  We see this as a really exciting and novel business model, with a team who have the track record of having brought 17 new cancer drugs to market throughout their careers.  Eos has been proud to support Cumulus since its inception.”

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