28 November 2017
metaLinear Ltd secures £255k seed investment for targeted antibacterial research
metaLinear is a start-up biotechnology company founded in 2017, focused on the identification and validation of new drug targets for difficult to treat bacterial infections. The new investment was secured from the BioCity Group Ltd, who manage the Alderley Park Ventures (APV) fund and Catapult Ventures, who manage the Greater Manchester and Cheshire (GM&C) Life Sciences Fund. Both funds look to back innovative, high-technology companies providing much needed early stage finance.
metaLinear uses a proprietary proteome engineering platform technology to uncover, characterise and validate new targets for antibiotics. Using very large libraries of Randomised proteins (R-teins) expressed in target bacteria, metaLinear will screen for novel targets responsible for the desired phenotype. A key advantage of this approach is the ability to de-risk targets and hence provide multiple efficiency gains in the traditional target and drug discovery process. Prior to founding metaLinear, the CEO Paul Ko Ferrigno founded Aptuscan Ltd as a spin-out from the University of Leeds in 2008, having developed the Affimer® protein technology which is proprietary to and underpins the growth of Avacta Group Plc after its acquisition of Aptuscan.
Commenting on the fundraise, Claire Brown, Investment Manager for BioCity said, “We invested in metaLinear because we believe the next generation of antibacterial products will not come from existing pathways but from novel target identification, the holy grail of what industry and investors want. Targeting this activity at the proteome level also offers a differentiated approach. Paul’s success as an academic and entrepreneur in addition to significant expertise and insight into this space of engineered proteins is a cornerstone of the company and key for future success.”
Gareth King, Life Science Partner at Catapult Ventures, said “We are very pleased to invest alongside Alderley Park Ventures into metaLinear. Infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria is a growing problem and a focus for governments, healthcare providers and industry. We think that metaLinear's technology has the potential to accelerate the development of new classes of antibiotics for the treatment of these serious infections.”
Founder and Chief Executive of metaLinear Paul Ko Ferrigno said “Attracting investment from experienced investors such as Catapult and APV is a terrific validation of our new approach. With this investment, the appointment of former AZ Executive Claire Brown to our Board and our move to Alderley Park, we’ll be joining a growing community of companies and PPPs working on antibiotic resistance, addressing the biggest medical challenge of our times”.
Photo L-R: Dr Claire Brown (Biocity), Dr Gareth King (Catapult) and Dr Paul Ko Ferrigno (metaLinear)