Company receives grant from Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Primer Award
London, 2 April 2019 – IGEM Therapeutics (IGEM), an immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer, today announced the award of a £0.75 million grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. IGEM will use the Biomedical Catalyst Primer Award to develop novel IgE antibodies targeting HER2, a commercially-validated cancer antigen expressed on a variety of tumour types including breast, ovarian and gastric cancer.
Currently marketed anti-HER2 IgG antibodies are only able to treat patients with cancers expressing high levels of HER2 antigen. The majority of HER2 positive patients have cancers expressing intermediate or low levels of HER2 and cannot be treated with anti-HER2 IgG antibodies. To address this substantial unmet medical need, IGEM is developing novel, human IgE antibodies that bind to HER2.
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 studies in the laboratory of IGEM Founder Dr Sophia Karagiannis at King’s College London have demonstrated superior efficacy with a number of IgE antibodies when compared to their IgG equivalents. IGEM is also developing anti-cancer IgE antibodies targeting folate receptor alpha and CSPG-4.
Dr Tim Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of IGEM, commented: “IGEM is a pioneer in the use of IgE antibodies to treat cancer. We are very pleased to have been awarded our second grant from Innovate UK. 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”.
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.
IGEM is a spin out of King’s College London and has an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Sophia Karagiannis, a global leader in the understanding of IgE antibodies. The company has raised Series A finance from Epidarex Capital, ALSA Holdings and the UCL Technology Fund.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk
For more information please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
+44 (0)20 3078 9675
Communications advisor to IGEM Therapeutics:
Senior Managing Director
+44 (0)20 3727 1000