Targeting neurodegeneration with $82m Series A

Alchemab raises £60 million to advance novel platform for identifying disease-modifying antibody therapeutics for neurodegeneration, cancer and more.

UK-based biotech Alchemab Therapeutics has secured a sizable £60 million ($82 million) Series A financing round to develop new therapies for patients with hard-to-treat diseases by harnessing the power of naturally protective antibodies. The company’s primary focus on hard-to-treat neurodegenerative diseases and cancers, with “several programs” at a preclinical stage.

The round was led by RA Capital Management, with participation from Lightstone Ventures, Data Collective VC, DHVC, SV Health Investors and the Dementia Discovery Fund. The company was created by SV Health Investors who led the Seed round in 2019.

Longevity.Technology: While we all know the power of antibodies to help us fight against a wide range of bacteria and illnesses, Alchemab is looking at their potential in helping us treat some of the most challenging diseases faced by humanity. Stay tuned for an interview with the company in the coming days.

The new funding will be used to advance Alchemab’s unique target-agnostic drug discovery platform. The platform interrogates the entire B-cell 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. B-cells are a key component of our immune systems and are responsible for mediating the production of antibodies.

Naturally protective antibodies

Using insights gained from the high-throughput screening, Alchemab can identify naturally protective antibodies with therapeutic potential and novel drug targets.

“Our aim is to become a major player in the identification of novel targets and antibodies in the areas of neurodegeneration and cancer,” said Alex Leech, Alchemab’s co-founder and CEO.

The patient samples that feed Alchemab’s platform are accessed through the company’s partnerships and collaborations with patient groups, biobanks and academic institutes.

Antibodies and longevity

Dr Jane Osbourn, Alchemab’s co-founder and CSO, told us, “As well as looking at resilience in cancers and neurodegeneration, we are also evaluating healthy aging and how individuals stay well. We are looking to un-tease whether there is an immune component, and specifically a B-cell component to longevity.”

“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.”

Last month, Alchemab received an 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.

Image courtesy of Alchemab Therapeutics