Mironid, based in Glasgow, is another Scottish pharmaceutical research and development success story. The company develops cellsignalling drugs, with a particular focus on rare genetic kidney disease and major inflammatory diseases. Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common hereditary kidney disease affecting over 12 million people worldwide.
Advancing medical science
Cell-signalling is the ability of a cell to receive, process, and transmit signals with its environment and with itself, and Mironid’s innovatively developed drugs can correct signalling pathways that have gone awry due to, for example, genetic mutations. Rebalancing these signalling pathways removes the underlying disease drive, thereby restoring normal cellular function. Once through clinical trials, these innovatively developed drugs could go on to improve the health and quality of life of patients – the very reason Mironid was established.
Mironid is what’s known as a spin-out – a company that began life as a University research project. The project builds on a research discovery that could transform lives but requires funding and management expertise to translate its novel discovery into a commercially viable business, often provided by venture capital firms. While not exclusively, spin-outs are often in sectors like lifesciences or healthcare.
In Mironid’s case, the business started in 2016 from research that was ongoing at both Heriot Watt University and the University of Strathclyde. The spin-out’s funding was led by Epidarex Capital, a leading early-stage venture investor, headquartered in Edinburgh. Epidarex specialises in partnering with leading universities and research institutions, funding primarily therapeutics and medical device innovations, to build early-stage companies with extreme potential along their growth journeys.
Mironid saw an initial investment in 2016 of just over £4m in its first institutional funding round led by Epidarex and supported by the Scottish Investment Bank, on behalf of Scottish Enterprise. The capital was deployed to further its research and drug development programmes – progressing a pipeline that could generate therapies for a range of diseases with high unmet medical need – as well as increasing the company’s headcount to more than a dozen drug development professionals. As of late 2022, Mironid’s work is approaching clinical trials, and another step closer to the possibility of significantly improving patient outcomes across a range of major diseases.