IP Group and Monash University invest $1.5 million into Inosi Therapeutics

L-R: Inosi’s technology is based on collaborative research from Monash BDI’s Dr Tracey Gaspari, Professor Rob Widdop and Associate Professor Siew Chai and, not pictured, MIPS researcher Professor Philip Thompson
L-R: Inosi’s technology is based on collaborative research from Monash BDI’s Dr Tracey Gaspari, Professor Rob Widdop and Associate Professor Siew Chai and, not pictured, MIPS researcher Professor Philip Thompson

Inosi Therapeutics, a university spinout developing technology to treat fibrosis, today announced a $1.5 million seed round, led by IP Group and Monash University (through Monash Investment Holdings).

Inosi is developing a new therapeutic approach to treat fibrosis, a condition associated with many chronic diseases where tissue damage leads to scarring and a loss of organ function. Collectively, fibrosis related diseases contribute to up to half of all deaths in developed countries.

The company is on an exciting path to develop first-in-class therapeutic Insulin Regulated Aminopeptidase (IRAP) inhibitors, that have so far demonstrated significant protective effects against diabetes-induced kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.

Alongside the seed round, Inosi has also received $704,000 in funding from the Australian Government’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) program delivered by MTPConnect, which will be used to further support the development of an IRAP inhibitor.

Siro Perez, Head of Life Sciences at IP Group Australia, said: “Diabetes is linked to a much greater incidence of cardiovascular disease, but current treatments are inadequate in preventing organ failure.

“IRAP is an exciting new target at the nexus of key anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory pathways. Inosi has a strong IP position and a clear pathway to develop this first-in-class treatment.”

Inosi’s technology is based on collaborative research from a team at Monash University led by Associate Professor Siew Chai, Dr Tracey Gaspari and Professor Robert Widdop from Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), and Professor Philip Thompson from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS).

Dr Tracey Gaspari, who is leading the team at Monash University, said: “Inosi’s ground-breaking research has found increased levels of the enzyme IRAP, and its association with fibrosis in diseased hearts and kidneys in type 1 diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.

“Our novel therapeutic approach with unique mechanism of action differentiates from current treatments ensuring that IRAP inhibitors can be trialled alone or safely combined with existing standard of care to further improve target organ damage associated with diabetes-induced kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.

“Funding from IP Group and Monash, as well as the TTRA program’s support, will help spearhead this innovative approach and get us one step closer to designating a preclinical candidate.”

Dr Alastair Hick, Senior Director Monash Innovation at Monash University adds: "Monash is excited to back Inosi alongside IP Group and the TTRA grant to help support another Monash spin out company, highlighting the increased commercialisation activity in the Monash Technology Precinct.”

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Media contact:
Lucy Wigney, Cannings Strategic Communications, +61 438 960 201

About Inosi:
Inosi is developing therapies to address fibrosis, a condition associated with many chronic diseases where tissue damage leads to scarring and a loss of organ function. Inosi’s technology is based on collaborative research from the founding team at Monash University, the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute ,and the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. https://www.inositherapeutics.com

About IP Group:
IP Group is a leading intellectual property commercialisation company focused on evolving great ideas from its partner universities into world changing businesses. The Group pioneered a unique approach to developing these ideas and the resulting businesses by providing access to business building expertise, capital, scientific insight, and the supporting infrastructure. In Australia and New Zealand, IP Group works in close partnership with the Go8 Universities and the University of Auckland to identify ground-breaking technologies, rooted in hard science, which have the most promising commercial potential. IP Group, which is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the symbol IPO, has a strong track record of success and its portfolio comprises holdings in early stage to mature businesses across life sciences and technology. https://www.ipgroupanz.com

About the TTRA:
This project received funding from the Australian Government’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) program, delivered by MTPConnect. The TTRA program is a $47 million Medical Research Future Fund initiative that provides up to $750,000 in Research Projects funding to nurture innovative preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic and disease management products/solutions for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. www.mtpconnect.org.au/programs/TTRA

About Monash Investment Holdings:
Monash University is Australia’s largest and most international university. Its extensive educational offering, delivered across 10 faculties, includes undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses. Monash is a research-intensive university, known for some significant and lasting discoveries that have delivered impact beyond the academic community. The University is home to a range of world-leading facilities and technologies, giving it wide-ranging capabilities across many fields, sectors and industries. Monash works with a variety of industry, government and community groups, allowing its researchers to share their discoveries with the world. Monash is a truly global institution, with four Australian campuses, a campus in Malaysia, a joint graduate school in China, a learning centre in Italy, a research centre in India and over 100 international partners. https://www.monash.edu/