7/16/2014 8:45:14 AM
Award to develop new therapeutic antibodies targeting nf-P2X7 to treat cancer
Cambridge, UK, 16th July 2014. Biosceptre International Limited, the oncology company developing antibody products that target the nf-P2X7 receptor, today announced it has secured a Technology Strategy Board Feasibility Study Award of £150k. This grant will allow Biosceptre to undertake a feasibility study to expand its pipeline of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to bind the nf-P2X7 receptor, a non-functioning conformation of the P2X7 receptor, for the treatment of cancer. This is the first Technology Strategy Board award that Biosceptre has secured since relocating to the UK in February 2014.
The project aims are to develop a series of mAbs, confirm their ability to bind nf-P2X7, and demonstrate in vitro cytotoxicity. Work is due to start on the project in July 2014.
Shaun McNulty, Commercial Manager, who secured the grant application said: “Feedback from the Technology Strategy Board reviewers highlighted Biosceptre's strength of scientific approach, the fundamental technology, and potential for commercialisation as key factors in selecting us for the award.”
“We are delighted to have secured this funding through the Technology Strategy Board,” said Gavin Currie, CEO of Biosceptre. “This grant will enable the Company to further explore and develop new potential products to diagnose and treat cancer, taking advantage of our unique intellectual property position and proprietary knowledge of the nf-P2X7 receptor.”
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Gavin Currie (CEO)
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About Biosceptre www.biosceptre.com
Biosceptre has identified a pan-cancer target, present in many cancer types, and importantly not found in healthy tissue. Early research and initial evidence suggest that drugs directed at the nf-P2X7 target have the potential to redefine cancer therapy. The Company has raised AUD33m and will be raising further capital through both existing and new investors. Biosceptre has a rigorous, international patent portfolio extending to 2032, providing broad protection of the target and specific protection of antibody products. The Company is developing therapeutics and diagnostics to bind nf-P2X7, with the core of product development in topical and systemic cancer drugs. Biosceptre is also developing an immuno-oncology vaccine, through an existing collaboration, and is in discussions with developmental partners to develop diagnostic and imaging technologies to detect and monitor cancer. Biosceptre is supported by a world-class scientific advisory board, the members of which have been central in the development of numerous, highly successful, biotechnology companies and products. The Company has the team, capital, and plan to create substantial value from this unique, patent-protected, technology. The business is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with additional research facilities in Sydney, Australia.
Most cells in the body utilise the mechanism of apoptosis (programmed cell death) to self-destruct when functionality is lost, genetic errors occur, or simply with age. Alterations in the mechanisms associated with cell death, including apoptosis, are associated with the development of cancer. The P2X7 receptor, known as a purinergic receptor because it is activated by ATP, is a key receptor involved in cell death mechanisms and functions such as proliferation and migration. Alterations in this receptor and its function are believed to be involved in the formation and maintenance of a variety of different types of cancers.
Biosceptre’s technology is centred on P2X7, specifically nf-P2X7, a form of the receptor in which a critical function, the formation of a large transmembrane pore on prolonged activation, has been lost. This loss in function is important in mediating key aspects of the receptors involvement in the transition of cells to a cancerous state.
About the Technology Strategy Board www.innovateuk.org
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.
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