£1.45 million grant from Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Funds enable IGEM 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 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 has issued patents covering the antibody in the US, Europe and Australia.
IGEM 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 believes that potent immune responses arising from IgE are suited to the destruction of solid tumours which also reside in tissue. IGEM 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 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