The UCL Technology Fund (UCLTF) announced its participation in the formation of Achilles Therapeutics Ltd, led by SYNCONA LLP and CANCER RESEARCH TECHNOLOGY (CRT).
The new private company will bring together world-class research from UCL (University College London) and the Francis Crick Institute, funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Achilles Therapeutics will design therapies to target truncal tumour neo-antigens – unique flags to the immune system present on the surface of every cancer cell*, which were first discovered by Cancer Research UK and the NIHR University College London Hospitals (UCLH) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) funded scientists at the Francis Crick Institute and UCL Cancer Institute.
Gene therapy has the potential to transform lives for people with severe diseases by providing a long-lasting, safe and reliable source of enzymes to the blood. The Company’s next-generation AAV gene therapy platform has been developed by Professor Amit Nathwani, Professor of Haematology at UCLB, and it builds on the successful haemophilia B phase I/II trial conducted by him with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis. The results of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated that all ten treated haemophilia B patients showed safe and sustained expression of blood clotting Factor IX after a single administration. The company will develop and commercialise gene therapies for bleeding and other debilitating disorders. Freeline’s shareholders include Syncona LLP, UCLB and UCL Technology Fund.
Orchard Therapeutics is a spin-out from the Institute of Child Health (ICH) at UCL, commercialising a gene therapy platform with the potential to cure a range of rare childhood genetic disorders in a single treatment. The company’s programmes use the potential of ex-vivo autologous haematopoietic stem cell gene therapies to restore normal gene function in severe and life-threatening inherited disorders, including immunodeficiencies and a range of neurological disorders, and have demonstrated excellent safety and efficacy in ongoing clinical trials. Orchard’s shareholders include F-Prime Ventures, UCLB and the UCL Technology Fund.