17 Jun 2019

Advising on major funding and IP licensing for a revolutionary start-up.

The challenge

Medicinal chemist Professor Patrick Gunning heads a lab at the University of Toronto, which is revolutionising how cancer-killing drugs are produced.

Gunning’s laboratory has focused on signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs), a group of proteins that regulate several genes linked to multiple hallmarks of cancer, including uncontrolled cell proliferation and cell immortality. Keen to see these developments have the greatest possible benefit, Professor Gunning co-founded Janpix as an oncology-focused start-up.

Now Taylor Vinters has supported Janpix in two major advances: a €16 million fundraising venture with Medicxi, a European venture capital firm, and a €15 million IP Licence with the University of Toronto to advance cancer therapies.

Our support

Patrick Farrant, Partner, led the Taylor Vinters team which advised on the legal aspects, including fundraising and licensing the intellectual property. He was assisted by Sian Scanlon, Natasha Irvine and Katie Allen.

Patrick Farrant said, “This is fantastic news for Janpix, who have secured funding to make a significant impact by developing new cancer treatments. Supporting the team at Janpix and Medicxi has been exciting and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Making great things happen

“We are absolutely delighted that Medicxi has made this visionary investment in technology developed right here at University of Toronto Mississauga,” said Professor Gunning. “Our work has the potential to create new drugs to battle aggressive blood, brain and breast cancers, and this support will help to accelerate that research and get those compounds to the patients who need them.”

STATs have been identified in numerous human cancers, including breast, blood and brain tumours. In particular, Professor Gunning’s lab is developing ways to inhibit two STAT proteins, STAT3 and STAT5. Janpix is focused on bringing a STAT3/STAT5 drug to clinical trials within 18 to 24 months.

Get in touch

To find out how our support advice can help facilitate the growth of your life sciences business, please get in touch with Patrick Farrant, or to find out more click here.