A spinout company co-founded by Official Fellow Mark Coles has launched with $11 million seed financing to develop new therapies against inflammatory disease and cancer.
Mestag Therapeutics (“Mestag”), a breakthrough inflammatory disease and immuno-oncology company based in Cambridge, announced the multi-million-pound investment from healthcare backers SV Health Investors and Johnson & Johnson Innovation on 20 April 2021.
The company’s mission is to develop new medicines for patients by targeting activated fibroblast populations and their role in influencing immune effector cells in disease. Powerful new technologies enable diseased tissues to be analyzed at a single-cell level, and this work has uncovered discrete fibroblast cell sub-populations shared across diseases, acting as “immune sentinels” in perpetuating, and progressing disease. Mestag is building a pipeline of first in class therapeutics to interrupt fibroblast-mediated effects on immune cells in inflammatory disease and immuno-oncology.
Speaking of the seed investment, Mark Coles said:
"It is amazing to have a company funded by professionals who can bring their expertise to translate our research into new therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory disease and cancer. The technologies that Mestag will develop have massive potential and I am really excited to see it grow with this financial backing."
Mestag’s approach is inspired by landmark studies conducted by a founding team of five leading clinical experts across UK and US, who have uncovered new insights into fibroblast sub-populations. They are:
- Professor Chris Buckley – Kennedy Professor of Translational Rheumatology at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford and Director of NIHR Infrastructure for Birmingham Health Partners
- Professor Michael B Brenner - Brigham Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Human Immunology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
- Professor Mark Coles – Kennedy Professor of Immunology, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences and Official Fellow Reuben College, University of Oxford
- Professor Soumya Raychaudhuri – Professor of Medicine & Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School & Broad Institute
- Professor David A Tuveson – Director of the Cancer Center and the Roy J Zuckerberg Professor of Cancer Research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Chief Scientist at the Lustgarten Foundation and President of AACR
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