Irish oncology start-up attracts $95m funding

Carrick Therapeutics is headed by former Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca executive

A new Irish company treatment company, Carrick Therapeutics, has attracted $95 million (€84.5 million) in an initial funding round.

The new financial backers to the fledgling company, which aims to build Europe's leading oncology company, include Arch Venture Partners, one of the largest early-stage technology venture firms in the US, and Woodford Investment Management, a two-year-old UK fund that hit the financial headlines in August for dropping discretionary staff bonuses.

Other new investors include Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Evotec, Google Ventures and Lightstone Ventures.

Carrick Therapeutics, led by Dr Elaine Sullivan, a former vice-president for research and development at both US drugs giant Eli Lilly and UK peer AstraZeneca, aims to "target the molecular pathways that drive the most aggressive and resistant forms of cancer", according to a company statement.


“There is a significant unmet need in cancer treatment and targeting aggressive and resistant disease is an area where we can make a real difference to patients’ lives,” Dr Sullivan said.

Carrick Therapeutics has research and development teams located in Dublin, Ireland, and Oxford, UK, leveraging important partnerships globally.

Carrick Therapeutics has assembled a team of internationally recognised clinicians and scientists for the company's scientific advisory board, which is chaired by Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at University of Oxford.

The board includes Prof William Gallagher of University College Dublin and Prof Michael O'Dwyer of NUI Galway.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times