Spirea raises £2.4m to develop cancer treatment
Spirea Limited, a Cambridge company created to advance a new generation of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, has announced that it has secured funding of £2.4m with investments from high-profile UK and US investors.
Spirea will use the funds to initiate its pipeline of superior and differentiated ADCs in the treatment of solid tumours where there is a high unmet need.
ADCs combine the cell killing activity of a cytotoxic drug with the cancer targeting capability of a monoclonal antibody. Although the ADC concept has been exemplified with approved products, many ADC programmes have failed to progress through clinical development because of dose-limiting toxicities, restricted efficacy, and limitations in the range of treatable cancers.
Spirea’s technology allows more cytotoxic drug to be attached to the targeting antibody (a higher drug-to-antibody ratio) which means more drug is delivered to the cancer cell. This allows 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.”
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.”
Spirea, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge, 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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