Pheno Therapeutics

Clinical sciences
Startups and spinouts
Tissue regeneration and repair
Project contact
Dr Susan Bodie
Head of Business Development, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Combining world-class clinical and drug discovery expertise, the team behind University of Edinburgh spinout Pheno Therapeutics is uniquely positioned to provide novel treatments that could halt the progression and alleviate the debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Perfect partnership

Pheno Therapeutics exploits the peerless clinical insight and vast drug discovery expertise of its two distinguished founders. Professor Neil Carragher is a phenotypic screening pioneer with over 25 years of translational research experience from within the pharmaceutical industry and academia; Professor Sidharthan Chandran is a world-leading regenerative neurology specialist and Director of both Edinburgh Neuroscience and the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic. The founders’ joint skillset, their utilisation of Professor Carragher’s Phenomics Drug Discovery (PDD) platform, and access to world-class facilities within the Edinburgh Medical School have combined to create the ideal conditions for accelerated novel discovery.

A regenerative approach to MS

MS is a destructive and unpredictable chronic disease characterised by the immune system attacking and damaging the myelin sheaths that protect nerve cells in the central nervous system. It affects 2.5 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of disability in young people. Recently developed MS therapies can address the immune system aspects of the disease and reduce the frequency and severity of relapses, but no current treatments can halt disease progression or reverse ongoing neurodegeneration.

Pheno Therapeutics is poised to address that urgent and unmet clinical need. By employing the astounding capabilities of the PDD, and using a unique human stem cell model to identify novel remyelinating agents, the company aims to develop transformational therapeutics that repair damaged myelin sheaths, thus reversing the effects of the disease and significantly improving quality of life for MS patients.

Support at every stage

Pheno Therapeutics has been facilitated and championed from its inception by Edinburgh Innovations. EI was instrumental in the formation of Pheno Therapeutics, helping to shape original pitches, establishing the scope of the company, and by introducing the academic founders to financial partner Advent Life Sciences to launch the company.

Since then EI has continued to assist the company by negotiating commercial, consultancy and license agreements, and by working in close partnership with both the company and its investors. Dr Andrea Taylor, Head of Strategic Partnerships at EI at the time, has provided continuous guidance, and currently is the University of Edinburgh Observer on the company's board, in order to support Pheno Therapeutics as it continues to execute its operational plan and bring novel treatments for MS patients from bench to bedside.

For more information about how Edinburgh Innovations manages the University’s equity positions in early-stage companies, read about the Edinburgh Technology Fund.

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