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U College London start-up raises $175.5M in IPO to develop novel treatment for solid tumors


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: April 14th, 2021

A cancer treatment start-up from University College London (UCL) has raised $175.5 million through its initial public offering in the United States.

Based on research from UCL Hospitals, the UCL Cancer Institute and the Francis Crick Institute, Achilles Therapeutics is developing precision T cell therapies to treat multiple types of solid tumors.

Achilles’ technology targets clonal tumor neoantigens, or mutations formed early in the development of cancer. These mutations are expressed on every cancer cell but are absent from healthy tissue, making it a safer approach to treating tumors.

The $175.5 million will support the start-up’s ongoing Phase I/IIa trials, including a study of a clonal neoantigen T cell therapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

“This investment ultimately brings us closer to being able to offer these precision therapies which represent truly personalized care to our patients,” says Geoff Bellingan, medical director of the surgery and cancer board at UCLH. “These therapies are vital due to the current lack of treatment options for some of our patients with advanced cancers. Their development shows what can be achieved when clinicians, scientists, research staff and industry work together.”

Achilles was formed by Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships team alongside Syncona Ltd., with the support of Crick and UCL Business.

“We’re delighted to see Achilles Therapeutics reach this milestone,” says Tony Hickson, chief business officer for Cancer Research UK. “We formed Achilles with Syncona to drive a revolution in cancer treatment using clonal neoantigens to develop personalized T cell therapies. Achilles highlights what can be achieved by us working in partnership with venture capital to form companies that have the potential to bring real impact to cancer patients.”

Source: NHS

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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