• Investors show support for ADCs pipeline

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Investors show support for ADCs pipeline

Jun 27 2022

Cambridge-based Spirea, created to advance a new generation of antibody drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, has secured funding of £2.4 million with investments from high-profile UK and US investors, that will be used to initiate its pipeline of differentiated ADCs in the treatment of solid tumours where there is a high unmet need.

Combining a cytotoxic drug with the cancer targeting capability of a monoclonal antibody the ADC concept has been exemplified with approved products; however, many ADC programmes have failed to progress because of dose-limiting toxicities, restricted efficacy and limitations in the range of treatable cancers.  

Spirea’s technology, designed to enable a higher level of cytotoxic drug to be attached to the targeting antibody, offers potential for the development of stable and tailored ADCs incorporating a variety of drug payloads at varying levels of potency and different modes-of-action. This will result in cancer therapeutics with significantly better efficacy and safety profiles.

Dr Myriam Ouberai, Chief Executive Officer at Spirea, commented: “We welcome our new investors and thank our existing investors for their continuing confidence in Spirea. With our novel approach to building ADC therapeutics, we aim to radically improve the treatment options for patients with hard-to-treat cancers. Having shown the flexibility and strength of our technology, we look forward to the next exciting stage in the development of Spirea’s ADC pipeline and to building significant strategic partnerships.”

Dr Christine Martin, Head of Seed Funds at Cambridge Enterprise, said: “This is an exciting time for Spirea and we are pleased to be supporting them with this further investment. Spirea’s innovative antibody drug conjugate technology is highly differentiated and we believe it holds great value and potential to lead developments in the field of cancer therapeutics.”

Dr Jonathan Milner, Founder of Abcam and CEO of Meltwind Advisory, said: “Spirea has overcome many of the hurdles commonly associated with antibody drug conjugate therapeutics. By developing a highly customisable platform where drug payloads and targets can be altered as needed, the Company is revealing the true potential of ADCs as a cancer cell specific, highly effective therapeutic option for a wide range of cancers.”

A spin-out from the University of Cambridge, the company has previously received investment from IP Group, Cambridge Enterprise, Start Codon, Jonathan Milner, o2h Ventures and Syndicate Room and is supported by a number of successful, high-profile board members from the life sciences.

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