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Startups 2021


MitOx Therapeutics

Dr Tim Sparey

Innovation & Business Idea

Building on over five years’ research in the area, MitOx is being established to develop and commercialise a novel class of MMDs that selectively target mitochondrial protein synthesis in cancer cells. The lead compound is NBS037, a stable conjugate of azithromycin and a phosphonium-based targeting moiety, and several series of follow-on compounds have also been developed. MitOx believes that its MMDs will be of clinical utility in the treatment of a variety of relapsing and resistant cancers, either as monotherapies or combination therapies.

Customers / Target Market

Human cancer therapy.


Cancer remains an area of significant unmet clinical need and there is much competitive research activity in both industry and academia. A number of groups are exploring MMDs but MitOx’s agents are differentiated by their mechanism of action and targeting to cancer cell mitochondria and represent a first-in-class MMD.

Intellectual Property Status

Five families of composition-of-matter patent applications at the PCT or regional/national stage.

Development Status & Future Steps

The lead compound (NBS037) and follow-on compounds are undergoing in vitro and in vivo evaluation at the University of Oxford and at CROs. This work will be followed by IND-enabling studies and then clinical trials at Oxford and other centres.

Exit Strategy

Exit through acquisition or IPO during early-mid clinical development of the first potential product.

Team Description

MitOx combines a highly experienced team of clinicians and research scientists led by Prof Adrian Harris at the University of Oxford, a very strong commercial management team with extensive pharmaceutical industry experience led by Dr Tim Sparey (CEO), and a network of advisors and collaborators.

Financing Need

Seed funding of around €4 million is currently being sought.

Searching for

Commercial Partner, Funding, Collaboration


MitOx Therapeutics