Parkwalk are delighted to welcome Istesso to its portfolio following an investment from the Parkwalk Opportunities EIS Fund. Istesso is a drug development company working in the field of immunometabolism. It’s pre-clinical and clinical assets work by reprogramming cellular metabolism and have applications in autoimmune conditions. Istesso’s lead drug, MBS2320, is in a Phase 2a clinical trial in rheumatoid arthritis and has potential applications in other conditions such as ulcerative colitis and cancer. MBS2320 is partnered with Johnson & Johnson. Istesso raised a total of £6 million with the new capital enabling the business to expand MBS2320 into new indications and further develop its pre-clinical programmes. Parkwalk’s co-investors in the investment round were Puhua Capital, a Chinese venture capital firm with a strong presence in the healthcare sector, along with existing shareholder IP Group plc. Parkwalk were attracted to the management team, the positive outcome of the phase 1 trial for MBS2320, its collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and the large market opportunity (billions of US Dollars by value) for treating autoimmune conditions. Parkwalk CIO Alastair Kilgour said: “MBS2320 is a breakthrough drug with the potential to repair and remodel damaged bones and joints in rheumatoid arthritis and has so far shown superior effects over current treatments. It is a once-daily pill with a unique biological profile. As such, it has the potential to help tens of thousands of patients currently inadequately treated.” The latest investment brings the total invested from the Parkwalk Opportunities EIS Fund to £63m this year, with a strong pipeline of investment totalling a further £35m. Parkwalk recently won Investment Week’s ‘Best EIS Fund’ 2018/19.