Achilles Starts 2017 With Move To Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Stevenage, UK, January 4 2017 – Achilles Therapeutics, which is focused on the development of novel cancer immunotherapies targeting neoantigens, has moved into its new headquarters at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the open innovation campus driving collaboration to improve healthcare. Following its recent £13.2m fundraising round led by Syncona1, Achilles Therapeutics will be growing rapidly over the course of 2017, with a total of 25 staff expected to be working at the company by the end of the year. The firm is the latest addition to the growing cell and gene therapy ecosystem at SBC.

Launched in October last year, Achilles Therapeutics occupies laboratory and office space at SBC. It is focused on therapies to target truncal tumour neo-antigens – unique flags to the immune system present on the surface of every cancer cell - and has exclusive rights to develop and commercialise neo-antigen technologies arising from Cancer Research UK’s £14m TRACERx study, which involves 850 people with non-small cell lung cancer. The private company brings together world-class research from UCL (University College London) and the Francis Crick Institute, funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Chris Ashton, CEO of Achilles Therapeutics, said, 'The company is delighted to start 2017 in our new premises at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. Achilles Therapeutics is impressed by the vibrancy of the cell and gene therapy community here, which includes key UK players such as the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre. With a strong focus on hiring this year, SBC is a great place for us to be located.'

Martino Picardo, CEO of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said, 'The research being undertaken by Achilles Therapeutics is cutting edge, and it is a great achievement for us to host one of the first Crick Institute spin-outs here. Cell and gene therapy plays a key role in our plans for Phase 2 of the campus, and companies such as Achilles Therapeutics will make a significant contribution to its success.'

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