IP Group has poured more funding into Istesso, whose treatment for rheumatoid arthritis traces its roots to an Aberdeen spinout, to drive immuno-metabolism therapies for autoimmune diseases.

UK-based immuno-metabolism drug developer Istesso closed a £6m ($7.6m) round yesterday backed by commercialisation firm IP Group and its fund management subsidiary Parkwalk Advisors.

Venture capital firm Puhua Capital also participated in the round.

Founded in 2017, Istesso is working on medications for inflammatory autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, which cause the body’s immune system to inadvertently attack healthy cells.

The company is focused on immuno-metabolism, a field which aims to rejuvenate the immune response by reprogramming immune cells to exploit alternative metabolic pathways.

Istesso’s lead candidate for rheumatoid arthritis, MBS2320, is currently in phase 2a clinical trials and could also have therapeutic applications in cancer and ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammation of the colon and rectum.

Istesso was formed in 2017 when the assets of IP Group drug development subsidiary Modern Biosciences (MBS) were transferred to a new holding company. MBS2320 was licensed by MBS from University of Aberdeen spinout OsteoRX in 2007.

Modern Biosciences had received an undisclosed sum in 2014 under an R&D agreement with Janssen Biotech, a subsidiary of healthcare firm Johnson & Johnson, however it was unclear whether the investment involved equity funding.