ATP (Apple Tree Partners), a leader in life sciences venture capital, today announced the launch of Adendra Therapeutics Ltd, a spin-out of immunology research conducted at the Francis Crick Institute in the lab of Caetano Reis e Sousa.
Adendra will discover and develop treatments for cancers and autoimmune diseases by applying new insights into how dendritic cells regulate the body’s adaptive immune response.
Dendritic cells have a key role in alerting the immune system to the presence of threats, such as cancer and pathogens, and so are promising targets for treatments that boost the body’s natural defences.
Caetano’s lab studies molecular pathways that trigger dendritic 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 in 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.”