Alchemab to collaborate with AstraZeneca to use Alchemab’s drug discovery platform for prostate cancer study
- Proof-of-concept immuno-oncology collaboration with AstraZeneca to build understanding of prostate cancer
- Alchemab’s advanced analytics to be used to analyse patient immune responses, identify natural mechanisms of protection and novel drug targets, and predict patient responsiveness
- Collaboration may lead to identification of novel therapeutics and disease biomarkers for prostate cancer, and may inform a diagnostics approach for patient stratification
Cambridge, UK, 5 May 2021 – Alchemab, a biotech company developing novel therapeutics for patients with hard-to-treat diseases by harnessing the power of naturally protective antibodies, has formed a collaboration with AstraZeneca to accelerate prostate cancer research.
Alchemab and AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) will work together on a proof-of-concept study to build understanding of the fundamental biology of prostate cancer. Under the agreement, Alchemab’s novel drug discovery platform will be used as a diagnostic tool through the identification of disease biomarkers with potential to inform the development of novel antibody-based therapeutics.
Using cutting-edge advanced analytics and functional validation methods, Alchemab will sequence and explore antibody repertoires within patient samples from a clinical trial of a novel immuno-oncology agent in the AstraZeneca pipeline. The objective is to define antibody signatures for predicting how well a patient may respond to therapy, and to improve the understanding of the underlying immune profile of prostate cancer patients. Ultimately, the collaboration aims to identify novel, disease-relevant antibodies which may yield therapeutic insights into currently unknown disease biology. This could permit direct biotherapeutic development of a protective antibody or enable drug discovery against a novel disease target.
By classifying patients as responders or non-responders, Alchemab may also be able to identify antibody sequence patterns that could function as biomarkers for early detection and patient stratification, enabling researchers to predict and monitor responses to novel immuno-oncology agents.
Dr Jane Osbourn, CSO at Alchemab, commented: “Our collaboration with AstraZeneca is a great opportunity to showcase Alchemab’s novel technology, not only as a drug discovery engine for new therapeutics but also as a potential diagnostic tool. By working together to understand each patient’s natural immunity, we anticipate that we will be able to build our understanding of prostate cancer disease biology and potentially deliver novel therapeutic options for patients with critical unmet need. We look forward to seeing the results of this collaboration and to apply our technology in future collaborations for other hard-to-treat diseases.”
Prostate cancer is the second most frequent cancer diagnosis made in men, and the fifth leading cause of death worldwide1. It accounts for 1.4 million, or 7.3% of all new cancer cases every year globally2.
Alchemab recently announced that it had raised £60 million ($82 million) in a Series A financing round, one of the biggest European Series A transactions in recent years. Proceeds will be used to build the Company’s platform and advance programs in cancer and neurodegeneration.
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Alchemab has developed a highly differentiated platform which enables the identification of novel drug targets and therapeutics on the basis of patient antibody repertoires. The platform uses well-defined patient samples and a range of functional and advanced analytical techniques to evaluate convergent protective antibody responses in individuals that are susceptible but resilient to specific diseases.
Alchemab is building a broad pipeline of protective therapeutics for hard-to-treat diseases, with an initial focus on oncology, neurodegenerative conditions and infectious diseases.
Alchemab was founded in 2019 and brings together expertise from Oxford, Cambridge, London in the UK and the United States. The highly specialized patient samples that power Alchemab’s platform are made available through valued partnerships and collaborations with patient representative groups, biobanks and academic institutes.
Alchemab is led by highly experienced management and has an extended team of scientific founders and collaborators. Together, Alchemab’s team and collaborators bring together a wide range of expertise from the fields of oncology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and computational biology.
Alchemab’s R&D facility is in Cambridge, UK.
For more information, visit www.alchemab.com.