U3 Pharma founded

U3 Pharma has been founded in Munich with the help of first round funding of E5 million led by Alta Partners and Medicis Partners. The company will, based on the research of Prof Axel Ullrich, focus on the creation of new products for cancer and hyper-proliferative diseases.

It starts operations with a portfolio of drug targets and a range of powerful discovery technologies.

On founding U3 Pharma, Prof. Ullrich said: “We are moving into a new era in terms of medical care and treatment where therapeutic agents will be developed and used against highly specific targets in a patient-specific, personalised way.”

Joining the lead investors, Alta Partners and Medicis Partners, are BioM of Munich and a number of private individuals from the biotech community. The E5 million in funds will be used to build the company’s corporate infrastructure, recruitment and R&D of current drug targets.

Pharma U3’s current management comprises Dr Ed Stuart, chief business officer and previously chief operating officer with DeveloGen and Dr Mike Rothe, chief scientific officer, who was most recently in the same position at DeveloGen. The company plans to build a full management team and appoint a supervisory board and a scientific board.

U3 Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on creating new therapeutic products that target components of cellular signal transduction systems that are involved in human diseases such as cancer. The company has licensed a portfolio of drug targets from the Max Planck Society, being used to develop small molecules and therapeutic antibodies. Also, Pharma U3 has second a generation functional genomics platform, called TASC, which mimics the progression of a tumour cell as it progresses towards its fully malignant state.

Prof Ullrich is world-renowned for his work in signal transduction and biomedicine. His research has led to identifying some of the most influential cellular pathways involved in controlling cell growth and he has played a vital role in establishing two industry leading products recombinant insulin and Herceptin TM.