Drug delivery startup Vitarka Therapeutics raised £1.27 million

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

Founded in 2021 by Vineeta Tripathi, Vitarka Therapeutics is developing combination drugs using RNAi therapy and non-viral drug delivery platforms. The company’s new tumor-targeting platform technology, EndoPore, targets solid tumors and delivers targeted intracellular therapy.

The fund will accelerate technology for pre-clinical validation, proving efficacy in disease-relevant animal models fit for purpose. The plan will also expand towards pharmacokinetic studies and improve 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 is the CSO founder of Medicines Discovery Catapult, UK’s Center for Excellence, has joined Vitarka as chief strategy officer.

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

Tripathi said: “It’s only been a year since we defined our product, so to raise such a large number in this timeframe is simply incredible.”

Hassan Mahmudul, investor, UKI2S and Future Planet Capital, added: “Delivering RNA therapy into the right tissues without off-target toxicity is a major problem faced by the pharmaceutical industry. That’s why we’re so excited to support Vitarka and their unique approach to drug delivery. Their new technology development platform has the potential to safely deliver tumor-fighting solutions, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them.”


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