Policy & Regulation
ILC Therapeutics Announces Board Changes and Funding Round to Accelerate Covid-19 Drug
13 May 2021 - - UK-based biotechnology company ILC Therapeutics is strengthening of its board and management and has announced a pre-IPO funding round to advance its lead novel hybrid interferon drug candidate Alfacyte, the company said.

The appointments announced are Peter Bains as non-executive chairman, Richard Morgan as a non-executive director and Allan Watson as chief financial officer.

Dr Magnus Nicholson, chairman of ILC Therapeutics, will become senior adviser and non-executive director on the board.

These appointments will strengthen ILC therapeutics' Board and executive team as the company seeks to accelerate plans to advance its novel technology platform and prepare its lead candidate, Alfacyte, for clinical trials.

Peter Bains has over three decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry including senior strategic and operational roles in a 20+ year career with GSK and more recently serving as CEO of Syngene (where he led a successful IPO and listing) and Sosei Heptares, a Japanese publicly listed company.

Richard Morgan has played an active role in the development of over 35 life science companies assisting a number of these with listings on the London Stock Exchange.

Allan Watson, the new chief financial officer, has over 15 years of experience working globally as a CFO for leading pharmaceuticals and med-tech companies and has advised multiple companies on IPOs and M and As.

ILC Therapeutics has attracted attention for its work developing a new class of proprietary laboratory-designed interferons based on the pioneering work of Professor William Stimson, ILCT's founder and chief scientific officer.

Alfacyte, the company's leading therapeutic interferon, is a laboratory-designed and engineered 'fusion' molecule based on natural human alpha interferons and is being developed as an inhaled medicine to treat Respiratory Viral Infections which represent a significant and growing healthcare challenge globally.

According to the company, Alfacyte has shown significant potential against RVI's in laboratory testing including against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.

In vitro testing at the University of St Andrews demonstrated that Alfacyte had many times greater antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 cell culture than any other available interferons.

Interferons "interfere" with viral reproduction and are one of the body's key defences against all viral pathogens. In some cases (SARS, MERS, Covid-19), viruses can evade the interferon response by delaying the innate immune response.

A therapeutic like Alfacyte can offer enhanced interference to Covid-19 replication in the body and activate the body's own Natural Killer cells to fight virus infection. It can also reduce "off target" effects and reduce production of cytokine storm mediators which often cause the most severe cases of Covid-19.

ILC Therapeutics is preparing Alfacyte to complete the Investigational New Drug application which is a regulatory requirement to advance new drugs to enter human clinical trials.

The company has engaged 3P Bio SA, a biologics production service company based in Spain, for the manufacture of Alfacyte as well as UK-based contract research organisation TCRS for clinical trials which are being planned for early 2022.

ILCT will be seeking new funding to underpin these activities.
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