Alchemab raises £60 million in Series A financing to advance novel platform for identifying disease-modifying antibody therapeutics


15-04-2021
Alchemab logo

Alchemab Therapeutics, a biotech company developing novel products for patients with hard-to-treat diseases by harnessing the power of naturally protective antibodies, today announces the completion of a £60 million ($82 million) Series A financing round.

  • Funding round led by RA Capital Management with Lightstone Ventures and DHVC follows a Seed round led by SV Health Investors

  • Proceeds to be used to advance lead programs in neurodegeneration and cancer

  • Alchemab applies extremely high-throughput antibody sequencing and deep-learning to well-defined patient cohorts to identify naturally-occuring protective antibodies in people who are resilient to disease

The international investment syndicate is led by RA Capital Management, with participation from Lightstone Ventures, Data Collective VC (DCVC), DHVC, SV Health Investors and the Dementia Discovery Fund. The company was created by SV Health Investors who led the Seed round in 2019.

The proceeds will be used to advance Alchemab’s unique target-agnostic drug discovery platform. The approach interrogates the entire antibody repertoires of individuals from well-defined groups who show unexpected resistance to disease despite genetic disposition or other risk factors predicative of a poor prognosis. Using insights gained, Alchemab can identify naturally protective antibodies with therapeutic potential. Alchemab’s primary focus is the development of novel therapeutics for hard-to-treat neurodegenerative diseases and cancers, and the Company currently has several programs at the preclinical stage.

Alchemab’s approach was developed with support from scientific founders at Oxford University, Johns Hopkins University and Mount Sinai Hospital. Alchemab is among the first commercial group to access Illumina’s Cambridge, UK Accelerator.

“Our aim is to become a major player in the identification of novel targets and antibodies in the areas of neurodegeneration and cancer,” noted Alex Leech, CEO at Alchemab. “The substantial financial commitment by this high-caliber group of US and European investors is a strong endorsement of our science and team.”

His colleague and co-founder, Dr Jane Osbourn OBE, CSO at Alchemab, added: “Our approach to understanding the natural immunological response to disease and why some people are able to stay well has huge potential to identify antibody therapies across a range of indications. The Series A financing offers a great opportunity to accelerate our efforts to positively impact the lives of patients.

Dr Houman Ashrafian, Managing Partner at SV Health Investors, commented: “Alchemab is a brilliant company driven by science. The Company combines elements of traditional drug discovery techniques with advanced analytics, and in doing so turns the conventional biotech model upside down.”

Dr Andrew Levin, Managing Director at RA Capital, added: “It is a privilege to work with this exceptional team. Alex, Jane and the scientists at Alchemab are offering a truly innovative, disease-agnostic approach that we believe has great potential for the development of novel therapeutics.”

Last month, Alchemab announced the award of an Innovate UK grant to support the development of a novel disease-modifying antibody therapy for Huntington’s disease, in collaboration with the Medicines Discovery Catapult.

About Alchemab

Alchemab has developed a highly differentiated platform which enables the identification of novel drug targets and therapeutics on the basis of patient B-cell antibody repertoires. The platform uses well-defined patient samples and a range of functional and advanced analytical techniques to evaluate convergent protective antibody responses in groups of individuals that are susceptible but resilient to specific diseases.

Alchemab is building a broad pipeline of protective therapeutics for hard-to-treat diseases, with an initial focus on oncology, neurodegenerative conditions and infectious diseases.

Alchemab was founded in 2019 and brings together expertise from Oxford, Cambridge, London in the UK and the United States, with seed funding from SV Health Investors, the Dementia Discovery Fund and DCVC. The highly specialised patient samples that power Alchemab’s engine are made available through valued partnerships and collaborations with patient groups, biobanks and academic institutes.

Alchemab is led by highly experienced management and has an extended team of scientific founders and collaborators contributing a deep understanding of antibody repertoires, computational biology and disease understanding.

Alchemab’s R&D facility is at Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, UK.

For more information, visit www.alchemab.co.uk

 

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