East of England Development Agency (EEDA) to support Sentinel Oncology in the fight agains...


22-05-2007

Sentinel Oncology and its academic and investment partners at the University of Cambridge have received a financial boost from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA).

Following successful completion of the EEDA funded R&D project, Sentinel Oncology has gained approval for a Development Grant Project award of up to £193,000 from the Agency.

Sentinel has built a pipeline of small molecules designed to target hallmarks of solid tumours. In particular Sentinel is developing small molecule inhibitors that are activated selectively or by the low oxygen environment found in all solid tumours. The company’s vision is to develop drugs in oncology that are void of the systemic toxicities often associated with chemotherapeutics.

Sentinel has made significant progress in validating their targeted small molecule approach for cancer treatment. The company has strong pipelines and a lead molecule that will shortly enter in-vivo studies. It is expected to be the first candidate to partner with a pharmaceutical major.

Sentinel has also established proprietary technology for removing unwanted side effects in lead molecules from which the company anticipates generating early revenue streams.

The company was founded in 2005 by medicinal chemists Bob Boyle and Stuart Travers, together with businessman Gavin Simpson. In 2005 Sentinel Oncology received a £74,000 Research Grant Project award from EEDA followed by investment of £100K from the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds (CESF). Early in 2007 the company completed a further funding round of £450,000 from a consortium comprising CESF, Medeor Ltd. and a group of city businessmen.

Working with Sentinel is Professor Venkitaraman from the University Department of Oncology and the Medical Research Council’s Cancer Cell Unit, whose expertise in cancer cell biology has been crucial in helping to select potentially successful drugs and new biological targets.

Professor Venkitaraman, who chairs the company’s Scientific Advisory Board, said, ‘This award will enable Sentinel to progress the development of its novel chemical technologies, and drive drug candidates further towards the pre-clinical stage. I am delighted that EEDA has chosen to continue supporting the Sentinel approach to cancer treatment.’

Sentinel’s co-founder Gavin Simpson said 'I am delighted with the continued financial support from EEDA and the significant advances Sentinel has made towards developing a robust pipeline of small molecules targeting cancer’

Mark Aspinall, head of innovation at EEDA, said "Sentinel Oncology's work in developing this approach to cancer treatment is precisely the type of initiative the 'grant for research and development' funding aims to support. The development on this project should have a beneficial impact not only for the company, but for the bio-technology sector at large and the East of England region as a whole. We applaud their vision and determination to drive their process forward and wish them every success."

Further information about Sentinel Oncology Ltd please contact :
Bob Boyle
Sentinel Oncology Ltd.
T: 01223 437124
Email: bob.boyle@sentineloncology.com
Or visit www.sentineloncology.com

About EEDA
The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is the driving force behind sustainable economic regeneration in the East of England: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. The vision is for the East of England is to create a leading economy, founded on a world class knowledge base, creativity and enterprise to improve the quality of life for all who live and work here.

EEDA aims to do this by:
1. Setting and shaping the direction of economic development in the region
2. Persuading and influencing others to bring resources together, so that innovative ways of solving challenging economic issues are found
3. Investing in imaginative projects that challenge the norm and will have a significant impact on economic development in the region.

These aims are delivered through the four key areas of Business Support, Enterprise Hubs, Investing in Communities, and Regional Renaissance.
Funding options available from EEDA are:
The grant for research and development, which contributes to the development of an innovative technology;
The proof of concept fund to help with the assessment of the potential market for a concept;
The running the gauntlet investment competition and learning programme provides help and advice on how to make a strong business ides happen; and
Selective finance for investment to increase the productivity of a business or safeguard jobs by making a capital investment

For further information please contact:
Nick Benham
EEDA Communications Executive - Finance for Innovation
The East of England Development Agency
T: 01223 484536 Switch: 01223 713900
F: 01223 713939 www.eeda.org.uk
The Business Centre, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge, CB4 9LQ
Or visit www.eeda.org.uk

About Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds

The Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds provides funding for early stage businesses that have been founded by researchers at the University of Cambridge. Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds comprises the University Challenge Fund and Venture Fund. The University Challenge Fund was established in 2000 with start up funds from the University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Trust, the Gatsby Foundation and the Office of Science & Technology. Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds works alongside Cambridge Enterprise Limited.

Cambridge Enterprise Limited facilitates the commercial development of intellectual property (IP) developed at the University of Cambridge. Cambridge Enterprise is one of the United Kingdom’s leading knowledge transfer offices, licensing patents and other IP to existing companies, both large and small as well as to spinouts formed to exploit University technology. For the academic year ending 2006, 61 licences were entered into and income from licensing exceeded £3.3 million. Additionally consultancy agreements generated £2.9 million.

Working together with angels, venture capital funds, University staff and students, Cambridge Enterprise facilitates the formation of around thirty new companies each year (about five of which are based on University-owned intellectual property).

Further information on Cambridge Enterprise can be found at: http://www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk

 

For further information please contact:
Shirley Jamieson
Head of Marketing
Cambridge Enterprise Limited
Tel: 01223 760 339
email: shirley.jamieson@enterprise.cam.ac.uk

 

Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.

Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge