Bicycle Therapeutics Secures an Innovate UK Grant to Develop the Next Generation of Antibiotics

Jan. 4, 2018 13:00 UTC

CAMBRIDGE, England & BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Bicycle Therapeutics Limited, a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle®) product platform, announced today that it has been awarded a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to apply Bicycle technology to develop the next generation of novel antibiotics.

Bicycles are a new therapeutic modality that combine high affinity and exquisite selectivity in a chemically synthesized format. The Innovate UK funding will be used to develop Bicycles with unique properties and novel mechanisms of anti-bacterial action. Dr. Mike Dawson, former Chief Executive Officer of Cantab Anti-Infectives and a seasoned industry expert with 30 years of expertise in infectious disease drug discovery and development, will lead the project. Formerly, Mike spent 20 years at GSK, where he led the natural product chemistry and biotransformations programs contributing to the development of three marketed antiviral agents as well as multiple clinical stage antibacterials and antifungals. Subsequently he co-founded Novacta Biosystems, where he led the NVB302 program from concept to clinic for C. difficile infection.

“This competitive and peer-reviewed award builds on our strategy to explore the utility for Bicycles beyond oncology using non-dilutive funding. It also provides further validation of the versatility of the Bicycle platform and its broad potential for application across all therapy areas, including anti-bacterials,” said Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics. “Bicycles are structurally highly similar to many commonly prescribed natural product cyclic peptide antibiotics. Our enormously diverse compound library and highly efficient optimized screening approach will allow us to generate next generation antibiotics. We are grateful to Innovate UK for their vote of confidence and are looking forward to working with Mike Dawson to advance a much-needed novel approach in this extremely important area of research.”

“New anti-infective products are desperately needed to combat the rapidly growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, an area of critical unmet medical need,” said Dr. Dawson. “The antibiotics field has seen little innovation in recent years, with just three new classes of antibiotics introduced during the past 40 years. I am delighted to be collaborating with Bicycle to advance this exciting work. The funding from Innovate UK will enable our team to make important progress in advancing a truly innovative, and potentially transformative, approach to treating infectious diseases.”


Bicycle Therapeutics is developing a unique class of chemically synthesized medicines based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle®) product platform to address therapeutic needs unreachable with existing treatment modalities. Bicycle’s internal focus is in oncology, where the company is developing targeted cytotoxics (Bicycle Toxin Conjugates), targeted innate immune activators and T-cell modulators for cancers of high unmet medical need. Bicycles’ small size and exquisite targeting delivers rapid tumor penetration and retention while clearance rates and routes of elimination can be tuned to minimize exposure of healthy tissue and bystander toxicities. The company’s lead program, BT718, is rapidly advancing towards the clinic in collaboration with Cancer Research, UK. The company’s unique intellectual property is based on the work initiated at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K., by the scientific founders of the company, Sir Gregory Winter and Professor Christian Heinis. Bicycle has its headquarters in Cambridge, U.K., with many key functions and members of its leadership team located in the biotech hub of Boston, Mass. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @Bicycle_tx.


Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information visit



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Source: Bicycle Therapeutics

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