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15 April, 2021 - 07:55 By Tony Quested

US investors back $82m Series A for Alchemab

US investment power players have piled into a stunning $82 million Series A round for young biotech business Alchemab Therapeutics whose R & D mothership is in Cambridge UK.

The Series A was led by Boston-based RA Capital Management with Lightstone Ventures (California, Boston and Singapore) and Data Collective VC (DHVC, of Palo Alto) and follows a seed round led by SV Health Investors in London.

The proceeds will be used to advance Alchemab’s unique target-agnostic drug discovery platform. The approach interrogates the entire antibody repertoires of individuals from well-defined groups who show unexpected resistance to disease despite genetic disposition or other risk factors predicative of a poor prognosis.

Using insights gained, Alchemab can identify naturally protective antibodies with therapeutic potential. Alchemab’s primary focus is the development of novel therapeutics for hard-to-treat neurodegenerative diseases and cancers and the company currently has several programs at the preclinical stage.

Founded in 2019, Alchemab’s approach was developed with support from scientific founders at Oxford University, Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Alchemab is among the first commercial groups to access Illumina’s Cambridge UK Accelerator.

Alchemab CEO Alex Leech says: “Our aim is to become a major player in the identification of novel targets and antibodies in the areas of neurodegeneration and cancer.

“The substantial financial commitment by this high-calibre group of US and European investors is a strong endorsement of our science and team.”

Co-founder, Dr Jane Osbourn added: “Our approach to understanding the natural immunological response to disease and why some people are able to stay well has huge potential to identify antibody therapies across a range of indications.

“The Series A financing offers a great opportunity to accelerate our efforts to positively impact the lives of patients.”

Business Weekly exclusively unveiled Alchemab to the life science world in our 30th Anniversary edition on June 4 last year. Dr Osbourn formerly headed up AstraZeneca’s MedImmune operations in Cambridge before the brand was rendered extinct in the parent company’s global business review.

Alchemab has since picked up pace consistently and impressively and only last month received a £1.6m Innovate UK grant to support the development of a novel disease-modifying antibody therapy for Huntington’s disease, in collaboration with the Medicines Discovery Catapult.

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