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Z Factor, a Cambridge University spin-out, has raised £7 million to discover new drugs to fight liver and lung disease caused by a major gene defect.
The Series A has been led by existing investor Medicxi. Cambridge Enterprise and Cambridge Innovation Capital have also joined in the founding round. Founded by Jim Huntington (above), Professor of Molecular Haemostasis at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Z Factor previously raised undisclosed seed funding from Medicxi.
The Z Factor team is engaged in the discovery of new drugs to treat Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD).
“AATD, which is a significant cause of liver and lung disease, results from a defect in the gene encoding Alpha-1-antitrypsin,” said Professor Huntington. “Individuals with two defective copies of the gene, making up around 1 in 2000 of the Western population, typically develop emphysema starting in their 30s.
“They are also at an increased risk of developing liver diseases such as cirrhosis and cancer. Around two per cent of people have one defective copy of this gen, and are at 5-fold increased risk of developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as they age.”