Browse Catapults

Developing new treatments to
prevent thrombosis

LUNAC Therapeutics, a UK based drug discovery company, together with the Medicines Discovery Catapult and the University of Leeds, are working on the development of an innovative first-in-class anticoagulant treatment drug with minimal bleeding risk.

in potential savings per year
funding secures from investors

Accelerating drug discovery, from bench to bedside

Anticoagulation therapy is used in a range of conditions such as prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation or prevention of venous thromboembolism post-surgery as well as other clinical circumstances. New anticoagulant treatments have the potential to save in excess of £2.7 billion per year, by impacting on bleeding and stroke episodes in Europe alone.

This collaboration addressed the need for effective anti-clotting therapies and minimal bleeding risk. The project aims to develop a first-in-class drug to prevent the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel (thrombosis).  The differentiation of this approach should eliminate the risk of increased uncontrolled bleeding, marking a step-change in the management of the condition.

The 18-month project brings together target biology, disease understanding and chemistry expertise at LUNAC with the University of Leeds, and Medicines Discovery Catapult’s drug discovery know-how and preclinical imaging expertise. 

With the support from Medicines Discovery Catapult in delivering the grant funded project, LUNAC Therapeutics was able to map a route to clinic and start on that journey whilst successfully securing £5M in funding from investors.  

Currently available anticoagulants have a relatively narrow margin between beneficial effects and undesirable bleeding events, including bleeding in the brain or gut which, in some instances, may be fatal. 

This collaborative R&D work optimises the discovery of a new class of highly specific anticoagulant compounds that block an activated clotting enzyme, Called Factor XII (FXIIa). There is strong evidence that this novel class of compounds will not increase the risk of bleeding. They would, therefore, allow treatment of more at-risk patients, and would also enable safe dose escalation in high-risk patients.  

LUNAC’s research has shown that targeting activated Factor XII has the potential to offer a new treatment option for patients, and we are therefore delighted to have secured Biomedical Catalyst funding to help drive this exciting project forward.

Professor Helen Philippou
Scientific Founder of LUNAC Therapeutics