IGEM Therapeutics (IGEM or “the Company”), an immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer, announced it has secured an additional £3 million to close its Series A round at £5 million. Two new investors, Alsa Holdings and UCL Technology Fund (co-managed by Albion Capital and UCLB, UCL’s commercialisation company) have joined initial investor Epidarex Capital who also committed further capital in this second close.
The funding will enable IGEM to further develop its portfolio of IgE antibody candidates against a variety of cancers. 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 believes that potent immune responses arising from IgE are suited to the destruction of solid tumours which also reside in tissue. Pre-clinical proof of concept data repeatedly shows superior efficacy for IgE versus cognate IgG antibodies in a range of cancer models.
Alek Safarian, Chief Executive Officer of Alsa Holdings, commented: “We are excited by the promise that IGEM’s technology holds for major therapeutic advances in a host of oncology indications, and are looking forward to working with the management team to help bring new options to oncology patients in the future.”
Dr Christoph Ruedig, Partner at Albion Capital commented: “The UCL Technology Fund strives to back innovative early stage companies that are seeking to translate ground-breaking research into commercial and societal impact. The pioneering work of Dr Sophia Karagiannis and her collaborators, which includes significant clinical development by clinical academics from UCL, highlight the profound potential of IgE antibody technology in cancer therapeutics. We are delighted to invest alongside Epidarex and Alsa and look forward to working with IGEM’s accomplished executive team.”
Dr Peter Finan, Partner at Epidarex Capital, commented: “IGEM continues to make great progress on this disruptive platform. We look forward to working closely with Alsa and Albion to maximise IGEM’s potential”
Dr Tim Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of IGEM, commented: “This new financing will allow IGEM to continue to pioneer the development of IgE therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer. We are very pleased to have attracted new investors of the calibre of Alsa Holdings and UCL Technology/Albion to IGEM as well as receiving further investment from initial investor Epidarex Capital.”
About IGEM Therapeutics
IGEM 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. Pre-clinical proof of concept has been obtained with two different IgE antibodies both showing significantly greater efficacy versus IgG comparators. IGEM is a spin out of King’s College London and has an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Sophia Karagiannis, a global leader in the field of IgE antibodies.
About Alsa Holdings
ALSA Holdings is a Europe based biotechnology investment firm with a focus on novel therapeutics at preclinical POC or early clinical development stage. The firm is managed by the founder and ex-CEO of Novotech, a leading midsize clinical CRO. The firm have considerable expertise and experience in clinical development and are an active investor. They have no geographic or therapeutic area constraints, and are equally open to seeding new companies, as investing in later syndicated rounds, or as a sole investor.
About UCL Technology Fund
The UCL Technology Fund is dedicated to investing in intellectual property commercialisation opportunities arising from UCL’s world-class research base, focusing in particular on the physical and life sciences. The Fund supports UCL in achieving the full potential of innovations that have prospects for outstanding societal and market impact, right through the development journey from initial proof of concept to practical commercial application. The Fund is co-managed by Albion Capital, one of the largest independent venture capital investors in the UK in collaboration with UCLB, UCL’s commercialisation company, building on their 15-year relationship.
About Albion Capital Group LLP
Albion Capital is a leading independent investment manager with a long-term record of partnering ambitious business. The Albion Group has funds of over £1 billion under investment management or administration and has increasingly focussed on technology, specifically software and tech enabled services. Albion Capital Group LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
UCL Business PLC (UCLB), part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise, is a leading technology commercialisation company that supports research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. UCLB has a strong track record in commercialising medical technologies and provides technology transfer services to UCL’s associated hospitals; University College London Hospitals, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal Free London Hospital. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from laboratory to market.
About Epidarex Capital
Epidarex Capital invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies primarily in the United Kingdom and United States. Epidarex was created to meet the need for more sector-specific risk capital for young companies, including spin-outs from leading research universities in up-and-coming life science hubs. The fund’s international management team has a track record of successfully partnering with top scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market.