An Oxford University company developing a biological superglue to tackle diseases and pandemics has won £4m of early-stage backing from Google’s venture capital arm GV and Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), allowing it to spin out into an independent business.
Spybiotech has developed a molecular superglue which it believes can be used to create vaccines more quickly than is currently possible and help tackle pandemics
The early-stage seed funding will allow Spybiotech to prepare for phase one trials.
“We rarely ever see a corporate like GV come in at the seed into university companies,” said Gregg Bayes-Brown, marketing and communications manager at Oxford University Innovation. “If this is the start of a new trend, it could be massive.”
Oxford University has enjoyed a boom in innovation activity in recent months. Last year the number of spinouts doubled to 21, while seed funding for these start-ups increased by fivefold to £52.6m.
Lachlan MacKinnon, principal at OSI, said: “We see the Spy technology as the missing link in rapid and robust vaccine design and see GV as a natural co-investment partner to take this forward.”
Spybiotech is already planning a second fundraising round and will announce a leadership team in the coming months.
Tom Hulme, general partner at GV, added: “Spybiotech has established a novel approach that shows promise in a number of markets. We’re looking forward to working with a team of world class scientists to develop more effective vaccines for a wide range of global diseases.”