Pathway Therapeutics, a New Zealand drug development company, is the first recipient of funding from the Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund (TTCF).
TTCF is an AUD$30million dollar investment fund designed to help the early-stage commercialisation of intellectual property developed at The University of Auckland and four Australian universities.
“TTCF has made an early stage equity investment of NZ$500,000 in Pathway because it can see the potential health and economic benefits for New Zealanders if this work results in a new cancer treatment,” says Craig Reilly, the Auckland based Investment Manager for TTCF.
Pathway’s current drug development programme focuses on novel therapies developed by research groups led by University of Auckland Professors Bill Denny and Peter Shepherd who are world leaders in the field of cancer therapeutics and cell signalling.
Their work is based on inhibitors of PI3 kinase, an enzyme involved in controlling cell growth and migration, and of particular interest as a potential cancer therapeutic target.
Pathway’s development as a company was supported by Auckland UniServices, the commercialisation arm of The University of Auckland. It was launched in August 2008 having already secured AUD$9.5 million in Series A finance through a syndicate jointly led by CM Capital Investments and GBS Venture Partners of Australia. With the TTCF investment, Pathway has secured a total of AUD10 million to take it’s early stage program to clinical stage over the next few years.
“TTCF is working with two significant offshore-based investors demonstrating that Pathway is an attractive investment, even at this high risk stage, and in an unsteady financial market,” says Mr Reilly.