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25 October 2017

VirionHealth clears $17.1m series A

The University of Warwick spinout is developing treatments for respiratory conditions such as influenza.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

VirionHealth, a UK-based respiratory therapeutics spinout from University of Warwick, has secured series A funding of up to £13m ($17.1m) from bioscience investment firm Abingworth.

Founded in 2017, VirionHealth is researching how defective genomes created as a byproduct of respiratory viruses could help defeat and prevent the illness itself.

The spinout hopes the approach would provide a more comprehensive and flexible remedy for infections such as influenza or respiratory syncytial virus.

VirionHealth is based on research by Nigel Dimmock and Andrew Easton, both professors at University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences who have previously compiled research on respiratory viruses and defective ribonucleic acid (RNA), an essential molecule in genetics.

The cash will be used to advance VirionHealth’s lead candidates into clinical research.

Jeffrey Almond, former president of discovery research and external R&D at vaccine developer Sanofi Pasteur, has joined VirionHealth as chairman, while Nicola Thompson, former vice-president at healthcare firm Hoffmann-La Roche, has been appointed chief executive.

Almond said: “Upper respiratory tract infections remain an important unmet need which includes an estimated one billion cases of influenza across the globe each year.”

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