Edinburgh biotech developing haemophilia treatment gets £2m injection

An Edinburgh-based biotech company has sealed a £2 million funding injection to advance the treatment of haemophilia.

By Scott Reid
Monday, 30th September 2019, 7:10 am
John McNicol from Kelvin Capital, Jaymin Amin from ProFactor Pharma and Ian Fotheringham from Ingenza. Picture: Chris James
John McNicol from Kelvin Capital, Jaymin Amin from ProFactor Pharma and Ian Fotheringham from Ingenza. Picture: Chris James

ProFactor Pharma (PFP), which is based just outside the capital at the Roslin Innovation Centre, has secured the money in a funding round led by the investment syndicate Kelvin Capital and supported by Ingenza and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

The funding will be used for process optimisation and toxicology studies to enter clinical trials after 12 months as the firm continues to develop a low cost treatment for haemophilia A.

According to the World Federation of Haemophilia, there are more than 400,000 sufferers of the haemophilia A disorder – where a protein made by the body to help make blood clot is either partly or completely missing – worldwide but only some 151,000 are currently treated.

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Jaymin Amin from PFP said: “The current global market is vast. However, current supplies only reach a third of those who need it.

“Our patented process delivers recombinant human factor VIII (rhFVIII) indistinguishable from a market leading product but due to the higher yield and lower cost of our product we are in an extremely strong position to lead in the massively undersupplied markets of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia.”

The Kelvin Capital syndicate, led by directors John McNicol and Angus Hay, represents private investors in the UK, Europe and the US.

McNicol said: “ProFactor Pharma is set to disrupt a market with lower cost and higher quality treatments for 400,000 sufferers of haemophilia A across the world.

“Current manufacturers only supply 30 per cent of the market with a higher cost treatment so the opportunity for PFP is really significant and runs into billions of dollars.

“The disease affects one in 5,000 male births which also means that the number of patients requiring treatment is growing annually.”

Ingenza managing director Ian Fotheringham said: “ProFactor Pharma’s continued advancement illustrates the enormous global impact possible from strategic SME [small and medium-sized enterprise] partnerships within the Scottish and UK biotech communities.”

Kerry Sharp, director at the Scottish Investment Bank, added: “We are delighted to continue our support for ProFactor Pharma.

“Clearly, there is a substantial global market for the company’s product and this phase of its development puts it on a pathway to full commercialisation.”

The testing process has been successfully run at scale at a European contract manufacturing organisation and PFP is now ready to optimise the production process prior to moving into toxicology studies.

Kelvin initially invested in 2013 and has led five rounds of follow-on funding.