IGEM Therapeutics announces UK government funding to develop a novel IgE antibody targeting solid tumours

£1.45 million grant from Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Funds enable IGEM Therapeutics to progress second product candidate towards the clinic

London, 9 May 2018 – IGEM Therapeutics (IGEM), an immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer, today announced the award of a £1.45 million grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. IGEM Therapeutics will use the Biomedical Catalyst award to further the development of IGEM-Ch, a novel IgE antibody targeting solid tumours.

IGEM-Ch is a novel and proprietary humanised IgE antibody that binds to the cancer antigen CSPG4 (chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan 4). The CSPG4 antigen is overexpressed in melanoma and various other cancers including triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Pre-clinical studies in the laboratory of Dr Sophia Karagiannis at King’s College London demonstrated that an anti-CSPG4 IgE outperformed an equivalent IgG antibody in a variety of challenging models. The company will receive £1.02M in net funding from the Biomedical Catalyst award to help progress IGEM-Ch into clinical trials by generation of a pre-clinical development package and efficient GMP manufacturing process. IGEM Therapeutics has issued patents covering the antibody in the US, Europe and Australia.

IGEM Therapeutics is building a portfolio of IgE antibodies directed against various cancer antigens including folate receptor alpha, CSPG4, HER2 and EGFR. The epsilon constant region of IgE has evolved to fight complex, multicellular parasitic organisms resident in tissue by recruiting powerful immune effector cells such as macrophages, basophils and monocytes. IGEM Therapeutics believes that potent immune responses arising from IgE are suited to the destruction of solid tumours which also reside in tissue. IGEM Therapeutics has demonstrated superior efficacy for IgE versus IgG equivalent antibodies in a range of pre-clinical cancer models. The company’s scientific founders, Dr Sophia Karagiannis, Professor James Spicer and Dr Vivienne Cox have previously transitioned the first-in-class IgE, IGEM-F, into a Phase 1 clinical trial in cancer patients.

“IGEM Therapeutics is a pioneer in the use of IgE antibodies to treat cancer. We are very proud to have received significant funding from Innovate UK which will help us take our second antibody, IGEM-Ch, into the clinic. Our goal is to harness the potency of the IgE-mediated immune response and thereby provide patients with new safe and effective treatment options for these serious diseases”.

Dr Tim Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of IGEM Therapeutics

 

IONTAS and Epsilogen collaborate to identify novel IgE antibodies for cancer targets

Cambridge, UK, 04 April 2018: IONTAS Limited (IONTAS), a leader in the discovery and optimisation of fully human antibodies, announced today that it will collaborate with Epsilogen (IGEM), an immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer. The project will add to Epsilogen’s pipeline of drugs and expand upon IGEM-F, an IgE targeting ovarian and other cancers, currently in a Phase 1/2a study. IONTAS will utilise its proprietary antibody discovery technology to help Epsilogen identify novel IgE antibodies against two targets.

IgE antibodies have been shown to permeate tumour tissue more effectively, exhibit enhanced effector functions and stimulate significantly greater levels of cytotoxicity and phagocytosis than IgG antibodies. IONTAS will apply its proprietary antibody discovery libraries and technologies to identify specific, high-affinity antibodies against two tumour-associated targets. Functional screening of IgE-formatted antibodies will be carried out to identify the most appropriate candidates for therapeutic development.

John McCafferty, CEO at IONTAS, commented: “This collaboration capitalises on the antibody discovery capabilities at IONTAS which enable the generation of high-quality therapeutic antibodies using phage-display or mammalian-display. We maintain a strong interest in developing novel therapeutic approaches and recognise IgE therapeutics as an important addition to the armoury of novel cancer therapies. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with fellow innovators at Epsilogen on these two exciting projects.”

Tim Wilson, CEO at Epsilogen, commented: “IONTAS was selected as our development partner of choice because of their extensive experience and track record in delivering therapeutic antibodies. The combination of the Epsilogen IgE platform and the discovery capability of IONTAS will rapidly expand our portfolio of antibodies and help meet our ambitions to progress new leads into the clinic.”

For further information, please visit: https://www.iontas.co.uk/technologies/

 


 

 

 

About IONTAS www.iontas.co.uk  

IONTAS is a biotechnology company focused on antibody discovery and cutting-edge technology development. IONTAS offers services for antibody discovery using Phage Display Technology; and the supply of bespoke phage display libraries. In addition, IONTAS offers proprietary antibody discovery platforms including Mammalian Display where full length antibodies are expressed in the context of a mammalian cell thereby allowing selection based on function, stability, expression and developability; Iontas have also developed a novel “KnotBody” format which facilitates the targeting of antibodies to ion channels, GPCRs and proteases.

 

 

About Epsilogen https://epsilogen.com/

Epsilogen is a UK immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer. Unlike immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgE has evolved to kill tissue-dwelling multicellular parasites endowing it with several key features that make it ideal for the treatment of solid tumours. Epsilogen is a spin out of King’s College London and has an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Sophia Karagiannis, a global leader in IgE’s. Epsilogen closed a Series A financing led by Epidarex Capital in April 2017.

£2 million raised from Epidarex Capital

IGEM Therapeutics completes initial closing of series A financing;

Raises £2 million from Epidarex Capital to progress pipeline of IgE antibody drug candidates to treat cancer

IgE antibodies shown to offer greater efficacy than IgG comparator in cancer models

Dr. Tim Wilson appointed Chief Executive Officer

London, 20 June 2017 – IGEM Therapeutics (IGEM), an immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer, today announced the closing of a £2 million Series A investment from Epidarex Capital, a specialist early stage life science venture capital firm. IGEM Therapeutics is now seeking further investment to complete the round. In addition, IGEM Therapeutics has announced the appointment of Dr. Tim Wilson as Chief Executive Officer.

The funding will enable IGEM Therapeutics to continue to invest in pipeline development as it builds its portfolio of IgE antibody candidates, including those that target folate receptor alpha, HER2, EGFR and PD-L1, and will support the further development of IgE antibody platform technology based on protein and glyco-engineering. IGEM Therapeutics will benefit from the expertise of scientific founder Dr. Sophia Karagiannis of King’s College London (KCL) who is recognised as a world leader in the field. The epsilon constant region of IgE has evolved to fight complex, multicellular parasitic organisms resident in tissue by recruiting powerful immune effector cells such as macrophages, basophils and monocytes. IGEM Therapeutics believes that potent immune responses arising from IgE are suited to the destruction of solid tumours which also reside in tissue. Dr Karagiannis’s team has demonstrated superior efficacy for IgE versus cognate immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies in a range of pre-clinical cancer models.

Tim Wilson joins IGEM Therapeutics as Chief Executive Officer with 28 years of experience in the life sciences sector, ranging from venture capital and start-ups to investment banking and equity research. He has worked with hundreds of private and public life science companies in the US and Europe at all stages of development, from start-ups to industry leaders. He holds a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge University and a BSc in biochemistry from Imperial College, London.
Dr Sophia Karagiannis of King’s College London and Scientific Founder of IGEM Therapeutics said: “The funding from Epidarex Capital will enable IGEM Therapeutics to grow its portfolio of IgE antibody candidates and to develop its antibody platform. We believe that IgE antibodies are ideally suited to the treatment of solid tumours and we look forward to working with IGEM Therapeutics to realise their potential.”

Dr Peter Finan, Venture Partner at Epidarex Capital, added: “IGEM Therapeutics is pursuing an exciting and differentiated approach to cancer therapy. Epidarex is delighted to have created IGEM Therapeutics and led the Series A investment. We are also very pleased to have been able to recruit Dr Tim Wilson to lead IGEM Therapeutics as CEO. We look forward to working closely with him to build a highly innovative company at the forefront of cancer.”

“The raising of £2 million in Series A funding is a testament to the compelling research results generated by Dr Karagiannis and her team at KCL. I look forward to leading the Company as we create important new therapies for the treatment of cancer.”

Dr Tim Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of IGEM Therapeutics