Exosome Research: Treatments for the future
£45.4 Million Invested into Evox Therapeutics by Google Ventures and Redmile Group
Kiran Suain, Nottingham 12/10/18
Current Affairs Society, University of Nottingham
Evox Therapeutics Ltd is a biotechnology company based in Oxford – whose mission is to create exosome-based treatment therapies for severe diseases.
An exosome can also be known as an extracellular-vesicle. Exosomes are derived from cells and can contain small packages within them. Cells use exosomes with specific packages inside of them to communicate; whereby the contents of an exosome may trigger a response in a neighbouring cell.
Evox is working to harness this technology. By modifying exosomes to carry drugs as the package inside of them, this has created a novel technique of targeted drug delivery to specific areas within the body. For example: a drug may be less susceptible to enzyme degradation if it is contained within an exosome. This may then increase the likelihood that the drug will reach the target site. This process may address and circumvent the limitations of other drug delivery systems – offering a unique opportunity to research the emerging technology, capabilities and potential that exosomes encompass.
GV, formerly known as Google Ventures and the US based Redmile Group have announced that they have invested $45.4 million into Evox Therapeutics Ltd, in their Series B financing round. This investment will enable Evox to continue their pioneering work in exosome technology, and help move research from lab-based work, into the clinic.
GV launched in 2009 as Google Ventures, and is held within ‘Alphabet Inc’, a collection of companies. GV have invested in over 300 companies, mostly within the fields of science, healthcare and technology. Within GV’s ‘Life Science and Health’ sector, notable companies that have been invested in include 23andMe – a personal genetics company, and PACT Pharma – working on personalised medicine engineered for cancer patients.
‘Redmile Group’ is a healthcare investment organisation. Recent leading investments by Redmile group include Gritstone Oncology – a cancer immunotherapy focussed company, and Alder Biopharmaceuticals– an antibody discovery and development focussed company.
Going forward, Evox Therapeutics aims to continue the development of exosome-based drugs. The development of drug delivery systems to the brain, and the central nervous system being of particular interest to Evox – as a historical challenge of drug delivery to this area includes the fact that the drug must be able to cross the blood brain barrier to reach the target site.
These investments will enable further research to be continued in this field of exosome science; which may pave the way future drug therapies are designed for patients with rare, life threatening diseases.