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3 LifeArc Ventures’ portfolio companies celebrated in new report on most innovative life science businesses in UK

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With the UK setting its sights on becoming a global life sciences superpower, it has created an environment where scientists are able to push the boundaries of research to create breakthrough science.

Many companies and start-ups have risen to meet the most important challenges facing human healthcare in areas such as biopharmaceuticals, AI, digital health, diagnostics and medical devices.

Our early ventures arm – LifeArc Ventures – invests in these early-stage science-led companies to help them positively impact the lives of patients and the global life sciences ecosystem.

Yesterday, PwC released its Life Sciences ‘Future50’ list. In this report, they highlight the top 50 life science companies in the UK that are displaying cutting-edge innovation and world-leading science.

Three of LifeArc Venture’s portfolio companies are featured in the list; a testament to our investment in science that will develop the next generation of cutting-edge treatments and innovations.

You can read more about each of them – AviadoBio, Cumulus Neuroscience, and Maxion Therapeutics – and what they’re doing below.


A gene therapy company that targets neurodegenerative diseases, AviadoBio is currently developing therapeutics for frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

What makes them different?

Adeno-associated viruses are one of the most widely used delivery methods for gene therapy but efficiently delivering them across the blood-brain barrier is a challenge in the field of neurodenegeration.  

AviadoBio has developed an approach which allows injecting its gene therapy products straight into the thalamus, which has extensive connections to other parts of the brain.  

This aims to overcome challenges such as toxicity and distribution associated with delivering gene therapies to the central nervous system.

Cumulus Neuroscience

A medical grade brain health platform was developed by Cumulus Neuroscience in collaboration with ten major pharmaceutical companies to improve outcome measurement in dementia clinical trials. Today, it’s being used in a range of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric clinical studies.

What makes them different?

The platform includes 15 assessments of cognition, mood, memory, language, and remote recordings of brain activity. It captures longitudinal data across a range of modalities and 5 domains of brain function. Data is uploaded in real time and processed using machine learning. 

Cumulus expects to evolve the platform to enable the development of digital biomarkers, or fingerprints, of CNS diseases to enable more accurate patient stratification in clinical studies and precision medicine.  

Maxion Therapeutics

By developing therapies that target special structures in the membranes of our cells called G-coupled protein receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels, Maxion Therapeutics is opening up the possibility of helping poorly treated ion channel-driven diseases such as multiple sclerosis, dementia, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer.

What makes them different?

There have been numerous approaches to develop monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to target ion channels and GPCRs but this has come with challenges. Ion channels and GPCRs have complex structures and limited exposure on the cell surface, making them inaccessibile for binding by mAbs.

Maxion uses knotbodies, a combination of an antibody and a knottin (a microprotein and about which you can read more about in the full report) to target ion channels and GPCRs, circumventing such developmental challenges and offering hope for new treatments for diseases like MS and dementia 

Maxion uses knottins (which you can read more about in the full report) to target ion channels and GPCRs, circumventing such developmental challenges, aiming to learn from nature and improve upon it.

“Congratulations to Maxion, AviadoBio and Cumulus for being named in PwC’s UK Life Sciences Future50. They are great examples of exceptional scienctific innovation in the UK and demonstrate the strength and breadth of our portfolio. LifeArc Ventures is proud to support them, and all our portfolio companies, as they progress.”

Clare Terlouw, Head of LifeArc Ventures

To read more and see all the other organisations included in the Future50 list, read the full PwC report.

Media contact

Hannah Severyn

Head of Media and PR at LifeArc

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