$4m Start-Up Investment to Accelerate Drug Discovery
Thanks to a creative risk-sharing agreement with CSIRO, Melbourne start-up biotech company MecRx has secured a $4 million investment from the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) to advance its breakthrough technology for accelerating drug discovery.
Under the agreement, CSIRO is assisting MecRx in validating its technology platform, which is being used to create promising starting points for new anti-cancer drugs.
CSIRO shared the research and development costs in return for a mixture of milestone payments and shares in MecRx, based on their success. Today, CSIRO has a 14.6 per cent equity stake in the company.
The CSIRO risk-sharing agreement, combined with a Victorian government Innovation Voucher, enabled MecRx to secure the significant MRCF investment.
“MecRx is a shining example of how the research and commercial sector can work together to accelerate Australian innovation and make a significant commercial impact,” MecRx board director, Dr Chris Smith said.
“CSIRO and the Victorian government were crucial in getting our technology off the ground – without their funding support and expertise the idea would never have been tested and the huge potential our platform offers for new drug discovery would have gone unrealised.”
About The Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF)
Established and managed by Brandon Capital Partners, the MRCF Collaboration brings together more than 50 of Australia’s leading medical research institutes and research hospitals, the Australian Government and the state governments of Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia. The MRCF’s first two funds were supported by the superannuation funds, AustralianSuper and StatewideSuper, and the Australian Government through its Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) program.Continuing on the same model, the newest AU$200M MRCF3 fund is supported by AustralianSuper, StatewideSuper, HESTA and HOSTPLUS industry superannuation funds and managed by Brandon Capital Partners. For more information visit: www.mrcf.com.au
MecRx is an early stage drug development company working on new treatments for cancer. Using proprietary ‘hit identification’ technology, MecRx is developing inhibitors of cMyc, a protein that is deregulated in over 50 per cent of all human cancers. MecRx draws on the expertise of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute and CSIRO and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
Mutation and deregulation of the cMyc oncogene contributes to the formation and maintenance of many human cancers. Tumours with elevated levels of cMyc often exhibit highly proliferative, aggressive phenotypes and are often associated with resistance to primary treatments. Over 30 years of extensive study worldwide has convincingly shown that cMyc is a compelling target for therapeutic intervention. Despite considerable efforts, no drugs that effectively target cMyc have been developed as yet.