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3 February, 2020 - 16:45 By Kate Sweeney

Isogenica adds to leadership team and announces deal with Nasdaq company

Isogenica in Cambridge has made two leadership appointments to extend and accelerate its partnerships and pipeline of therapeutic assets and provide a strong foundation for future growth. Isogenica is an antibody discovery biotechnology company specialising in single domain biotherapeutics. 

William (Bill) Eldridge joins as senior director of alliances while Edward McGowan joins in the newly created role of senior director of antibody discovery and development.  

Drs Eldridge and McGowan bring a wealth of biotherapeutic discovery and development experience to Isogenica. 

Eldridge was most recently chief scientific officer at Cyclogenix where he led the discovery and development of scFv antibodies, Cyclotide scaffolds and VNAR single domains for half-life extension, specific oral availability and blood-brain barrier transfer. He was a senior researcher at Isogenica until 2009 and is a co-inventor of Isogenica’s CIS Display technology, which has been highly successful for the discovery of antibodies and peptides including Centyrins®. 

McGowan joins Isogenica from Covance where he was director of biopharmaceutical development. Prior to that he took roles of increasing seniority in biologics discovery and development at Ablynx, Ossianix and the International Aids Vaccine Initiative, building a deep knowledge of single domain antibodies in the process.

Drs Eldridge and McGowan join Edward Walker, newly promoted to senior director of antibody technologies, David Mead, director of business development and chief executive Emma Sceats in the company’s leadership team.

Björn Cochlovius, appointed as Isogenica’s chairman in December, said: “The new leadership team will support delivery of Isogenica’s vision to become the pre-eminent single domain biotherapeutics company, improving patient outcomes via better targeting of chemotherapies and through the development of single domain bispecifics as off-the-shelf alternatives to CAR-T therapies.”

In January, Isogenica entered into a multi-target, multi-year partnership with BioNTech. The partnership follows hot on the heels of BioNTech’s €350 million fund raise and Summer 2019 IPO, the third largest IPO for a European Biotech.

The funding is expected to propel several of BioNTech’s  clinical and preclinical assets into the later stages of development. BioNTech is pursuing an ambitious growth strategy based on several proprietary drug modalities including antibody-drug conjugates, cell therapy and multi-specific antibody therapeutics.

Chesterford Research Park-based Isogenica’s versatile single domain platform, LlamdA, will be deployed in VHH therapeutic antibody discovery. The antibodies are to be incorporated into BioNTech’s modalities which are destined for the clinic in immuno-oncology. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Isogenica is eligible to receive an upfront payment, research funding and licence fees, as well as preclinical, clinical and sales milestones on LlamdA™ antibody-based therapeutics deriving from the collaboration.

Emma Sceats, CEO at Isogenica said: “This is a truly collaborative partnership, combining Isogenica’s expertise and maximising on BioNTech’s in-house discovery efforts through licensing of the LlamdA library.”

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