UK-based biotechnology company Theolytics has concluded a funding round securing a total of £19m ($24.5m) to advance the development of its lead oncolytic adenovirus therapy, THEO-260.

Sound Bioventures joined as a new investor of Theolytics, alongside an international consortium of existing backers including M Ventures, Taiho Ventures, Epidarex Capital, Oxford Science Enterprises and the University of Oxford.

The funding will support the commencement of a Phase I clinical trial of THEO-260 to treat platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

Beginning this year, the trial will seek to validate the drug’s safety and efficacy.

The upcoming trial will be crucial in understanding the dual mechanism of THEO-260, which targets cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts while exhibiting immunomodulatory effects.

The trials will explore administration to participants via intravenous or intraperitoneal routes.

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Sound Bioventures principal Thomas Tan will join the board of directors of Theolytics

Theolytics is also advancing its preclinical pipeline with novel candidates for colorectal cancer and haematological malignancies.

Theolytics CEO Charlotte Casebourne Stock stated: “Our lead asset THEO-260 will be entering the clinic this year, and at this key juncture we are pleased to complete this significant financing and welcome Sound Bioventures as a new investor.

“Sound Bioventures’ extensive oncology experience, network, operational expertise and collaborative approach will bring important benefits to Theolytics and I am delighted to welcome Thomas Tan to our board.”