Update: UK Biotech Scores £5M Series A to Boost Next-Generation Cancer Antibodies

IGEM cancer IgE series A 1

Update (30/11/2018): IGEM Therapeutics has increased the total raised in Series A to £5M (€5.6M) with the participation of two new investors, Alsa Holdings and UCL Technology Fund. The funding will go towards the development of a new generation of antibody drugs for cancer. 

Published on 20/06/2017

IGEM Therapeutics has raised £2M (€2.3M) in Series A from UK investor Epidarex Capital to support the development of a pipeline of next-generation antibodies to treat cancer.

IGEM Therapeutics is London’s latest addition to the crowded immuno-oncology space. The biotech claims it can generate more efficient antibodies against well-known cancer targets based on its platform of IgE antibodies, which are responsible for immunity against parasites and trigger very potent immune responses mediated by macrophages, basophils and monocytes.

The young biotech, founded in 2016, is a spin-out from King’s College London. In preclinical trials, IGEM has shown that its IgE antibodies have superior efficacy in a variety of preclinical cancer models compared to IgG antibodies, which make up most antibody treatments on the market. T

According to the company, the immune responses started by IgE antibodies could be especially powerful against solid tumors that often don’t respond well to current immunotherapies. “We believe that IgE antibodies are ideally suited to the treatment of solid tumors and we look forward to working with IGEM to realize their potential,” stated Sophia Karagiannis, scientific founder of IGEM.

IGEM’s approach of targeting well-defined targets with more effective antibodies seems promising. However, a counterpoint to amplifying immune responses is that it could exaggerate side-effects, which already trouble marketed immunotherapies and can cause considerable harm. For now, it’s too early to tell if the IGEM’s IgE platform can compete in terms of safety and efficacy but it seems like the company has found a yet-unoccupied niche in the notoriously crowded immuno-oncology space.

Images via Shutterstock 

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