News release

Date: 12th September 2012

SETsquared-supported company Karus Therapeutics secures $7.6 million funding

Investment for cancer and inflammatory disease medicines

September 12th, 2012 - The SETsquared partnership ( has announced that Karus Therapeutics, a company it has previously supported, has recently secured $7.6 million funding as the first tranche of Series B Investment.

Karus Therapeutics develops medicines for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. It will use the funding to advance its proprietary PI3-Kinase p110- delta/beta and HDAC6 inhibitor programmes through early clinical trials.

Karus was spun out of the University of Southampton in 2005. It was based at the SETsquared Southampton Business Incubator for three years before graduating on to the University of Southampton Science Park.

Whilst at the Incubator, Karus went through SETsquared’s investor readiness programme. This included attending SETsquared’s annual Investment Showcase event, giving it an opportunity to pitch to investors with the potential to gain funding and significantly raise the profile of the company. The company also participated in SETsquared's UK-US programme that resulted in a Connect Springboard Presentation in San Diego in 2007.

Simon Kerry, Chief Executive Officer of Karus, said: "From initial set-up through to the management of our ongoing relationship with the University, the SETsquared programme, including the technical expertise, facilities and network of business advisors, was a key part of our early development."

“Karus is an excellent example of a company that has benefited from SETsquared’s Investment Showcase, and the opportunities it creates for early stage businesses,” said Graham Harrison, Partnership Director at SETsquared.

The financing was led by new investors, SV Life Sciences, New Leaf Ventures, Novo A/S and International Biotechnology Trust, who were joined by existing investors, IP Group and a number of Angel investors.

SETsquared’s 2012 Investment Showcase will be held on 18th October in London.

About the SETsquared Partnership
Twitter: @SETsquared

The SETsquared Partnership ( is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 7,400 academic staff; earn nearly 10% of the UK’s higher education research budget; and produce 11% of all UK university patents.

The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its innovation centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 88% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.

SETsquared supports its student population of over 90,000 graduate and undergraduates to gain hands on business skills and entrepreneurial training through experiential inter-university activities. The Partnership also provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and develop collaborative R&D relationships. The Partnership seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.

About Karus Therapeutics
Karus Therapeutics is a leader in the development of innovative medicines that have breakthrough potential in treating inflammatory disease and cancer. The Company’s scientific excellence is reflected in its proprietary PI3K and HDAC6 inhibitor programmes, from which innovative small molecule drugs with significant clinical and commercial potential have been developed. The UK based Company is privately-held with a strong financial track record and experienced investors, including SV Life Sciences, New Leaf Ventures, Novo A/S and IP Group.
For further information please

Media Contact:
Nick Daines, Lumen PR
Tel: +44 (0)115 8412109
Mobile: +44 (0)7958 534731

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