The company spun out of the University of Nottingham in December 2013, to commercialise pioneering research from the labs of Professors David Bates and Steven Harper, and Dr Lucy Donaldson. In March 2014, the company raised an initial round of seed investment, which will allow it to drive the pre-clinical lead programme forward towards clinical trials.
Exonate’s research facilities are based at world-leading, University of Nottingham, laboratories with access to a productive, experienced and dynamic group of researchers. In this way, the company is able to leverage high quality science in support of its commercial development goals. In addition Exonate has formed academic collaborations with the Universities of Nottingham, New South Wales (Australia) and Oxford.
Based on the work of Professor Bates and a deep understanding of the biology of VEGF alternative splicing, Exonate has worked with Professor Jonathan Morris, a chemist at UNSW, to discover a proprietary series of first in class therapeutics, the SPHINXes, and now has a lead candidate under development for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). In animal models this has demonstrated a high penetration into the eye when administered topically.
It therefore has the capacity to be administered as an eye drop rather than the currently available drugs which are given as intravitreal injections. As SPHINXes are small molecules, they will be inexpensive to manufacture and administer than alternative biologic therapeutics.