Intracellular drug delivery startup Vitarka Therapeutics raises £1.27M

mRNA technology drug delivery

Vitarka Therapeutics, which focuses on non-viral drug delivery technology, has raised £1.27 million ($1.58 million) in equity from venture capital firm SOSV, the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UK12S) and grant funding from Innovate UK.

Founded in 2021 by Vineeta Tripathi, Vitarka Therapeutics is developing combination medicines using RNAi therapies and a non-viral drug delivery platform. The company’s novel tumor-targeted platform technology, EndoPore, targets solid tumors and delivers therapeutics for intracellular targets.   

The funds will accelerate the technology for pre-clinical validation, proving efficacy in fit-for-purpose disease relevant animal models. The plan will also progress towards pharmacokinetics studies and improving technical processes for large-scale manufacturing. 

Tripathi has more than 15 years of experience in drug development, including at Boehringer Ingelheim and Ipsen Bioinnovation. Peter Simpson who was the founding CSO of Medicines Discovery Catapult, UK’s Centre for Excellence, has joined Vitarka Therapeutics as chief strategy officer.

In its first six months, Vitarka Therapeutics raised £250,000 from non-dilutive funding and backing from Discovery Park’s investment fund, Discovery Park Ventures.

Tripathi said: “It has just been a year since we defined our product, so to raise such a substantial amount within this timeframe is remarkable.”  

Hassan Mahmudul, investor, UKI2S and Future Planet Capital, added: “Delivering RNA therapeutics into the right tissues without off-target toxicity is a major problem faced by the pharma industry. That is why we are excited to back Vitarka and their unique approach to drug delivery. Their development of a novel platform technology has the potential to provide a solution which safely combats tumors, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them.” 

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