• Molecular Pathways Studies attract Venture Capital
    Caetano Reis e Sousa (Credit: Dave Guttridge)

News & Views

Molecular Pathways Studies attract Venture Capital

Jan 11 2022

A spin-out based on immunology research conducted in the lab of Caetano Reis e Sousa at the Crick Institute, has been announced by life sciences venture capital firm Apple Tree Partners (ATP).

Adendra will focus on how dendritic cells alert the immune system to threats such as cancer and pathogens through studying the molecular pathways that trigger these cells into action. They examine protein receptors on the cell surface and inside the cell that detect potential threats and deliver a signal to initiate immune attack.

Caetano said: “Progress in developing new immunotherapies will be grounded in a fundamental understanding of specific molecular processes.

“I’m delighted to have the backing of ATP to enable the clinical translation of our research in the field of innate immune recognition of dead cells. I am excited about the prospect of offering meaningful clinical benefit to patients suffering from cancer or autoimmune diseases.”

The new company is funded with a £40 million Series A investment from ATP, their first investment in Europe. Adendra will use proceeds from the financing to generate developmental candidates for new molecular and biological therapeutics against solid cancers and T cell-based autoimmune disorders.

“We are delighted to partner with Caetano and the Francis Crick Institute to form Adendra, to translate their pioneering work in dendritic cell biology into novel therapeutics,” said Raj Mehta, ATP Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Adendra co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.

“Building on the leading scientific knowledge and expertise coming from Caetano’s lab and applying ATP’s capabilities in therapeutics development and life sciences strategy and operations, Adendra is uniquely positioned to improve the current treatment paradigm in cancer and other diseases.”

Adendra is the tenth company to be launched from research at the Crick.

Veronique Birault Director of Translation at the Crick, said: “This significant investment by ATP will accelerate new insights in immunology which could make a difference for patients with a number of diseases.”

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