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20 June, 2019 - 21:18 By Kate Sweeney

Mills & Reeve advises UCL Technology Fund on Quell investment

Mills Reeve Zickie Lim

Cambridge-based international law firm Mills & Reeve has advised UCL Technology Fund on a £1m investment into Quell Therapeutics, a new biotechnology company developing engineered T regulatory cell therapies. 

The technology seeks to harness the ability of Treg cells to put the brakes on the immune system, offering dramatic benefits for patients. 

Quell brings together experts from King’s College London, University College London and Hannover Medical School and will tackle conditions involving immune dysfunction such as organ transplant rejection, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

The investment is part of a £35m Series A financing led by Syncona, the FTSE250 company focused on investing in and building global leaders in life sciences. 

Zickie Lim, who heads Mills & Reeve’s Funds, Venture Capital and Investments team, said: “It’s really exciting to be in at the start of something that could potentially change the way things are done. By bringing together academia and commerce, Quell Therapeutics will be at the cutting edge of the R & D of this important field.”

Quell Therapeutics was founded by Syncona Ltd in March 2019, in partnership with six prominent experts from King's College London (KCL), University College London (UCL) and Hannover Medical School.

Earlier this month, Quell appointed leading pharmaceutical executive Iain McGill as CEO. Prior to joining the company he served as Senior Vice President Europe and Rest of World for Jazz Pharmaceuticals where he was instrumental in growing an international footprint for Jazz and was an integral member of the management team. 

From 2010 to 2012, McGill was at EUSA Pharma, an entrepreneurial private-equity backed start-up pharmaceutical company where he served as CCO and was part of the management team which successfully built EUSA Pharma and sold to Jazz Pharmaceuticals for $700M in 2012. He has also held general management and senior leadership positions in the field of Transplantation and Immunology for Wyeth, Novartis and Roche Pharmaceuticals.

McGill said: “With Syncona’s vision and the backing of leading experts in the Treg field, cell engineering, solid organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases from KCL, UCL, and Hannover Medical School, Quell Therapeutics has a real opportunity to bring transformational therapies to patients who are in need of safer and more effective therapies to manage their conditions.”

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