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Our Start-ups

Our Start-ups

Where technologies with a broad application can be most effectively advanced via a focused and innovative environment, Cancer Research UK will stimulate the creation of a start-up company, through their legal entity Cancer Research Technology.

Over the years, we have been involved in the formation and development of more than 30 successful start-ups; details of many of these can be found below.

Achilles Therapeutics
Open

In 2016 CRT and Syncona launched Achilles Therapeutics to develop immunotherapies for cancer. It brings together world-class research from UCL (University College London) and the Francis Crick Institute, funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Achilles Therapeutics will develop and commercialise neo-antigen technologies arising from CRUK’s £14million TRACERx study. It aims to exploit specific tumour neo-antigens to develop immune-therapies.

For more information view our press release

Acublate Ltd.
Open

Acublate Limited was founded in 2012 by CRT to develop a next generation High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) surgery device to treat a range of solid tumour types. HIFU is a non-invasive type of surgery which uses ultrasound energy to heat and destroy tumors while leaving surrounding healthy tissue intact.

For more information view our press release

AIMM Therapeutics
Open

AIMM Therapeutics B.V. was established in 2004 with the goal to develop therapeutic and prophylactic human monoclonal antibodies. AIMM capitalizes on a breakthrough proprietary technology to isolate human monoclonal antibodies for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, inflammatory diseases and cancer. AIMM received financing from its principal investor, the AMC and from the Life Science Fund Amsterdam.

Visit the website

Arquer Diagnostics Ltd
Open

Arquer Diagnostics Ltd. is a private, UK-based company specialising in the development of innovative, non-invasive oncological diagnostic solutions. Our initial focus is on the development of lab based tests for urological (prostate and bladder) cancers. Arquer Diagnostics was rebranded from Urosens Ltd. in 2015.

Visit the website

 

 

Artios Pharma
Open

In 2016 CRT and SV life Sciences launched Artios Pharma to develop drugs targeting the DNA damage response in cancer.

Artios licensed its two lead programmes from CRT and signed a non-exclusive research collaboration agreement with the CRUK-TDL to progress the lead programmes, and discover and develop additional promising drug targets selected from Cancer Research UK’s portfolio of DNA damage repair research.

For more information view our press release

BliNK Biomedical
Open

BliNK Therapeutics, a B-cell antibody company founded by CRT and Kurma Life Sciences Partners in 2011, and European biotechnology company Valneva established BliNK Biomedical SAS in January 2015. The new company, which will specialise in the discovery of innovative monoclonal antibodies, is owned by Valneva and Kurma Biofund I with funds managed by Idinvest Partners, CRT and BliNK Therapeutics’ founders.

Chimeric Therapeutics Ltd.
Open

The Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and CRT launched a collaboration in 2015 aiming to translate an academic discovery programme funded by Cancer Research UK and developed by Dr Steven Lee and Prof Roy Bicknell at the University of Birmingham into a commercially viable cell therapy. The collaborating partners have launched a new company, Chimeric Therapeutics Ltd.

Cytosystems Ltd.
Open

Cytosystems Ltd develops advanced, laboratory-based diagnostic tests for cancer which are aimed at replacing invasive, distressing and expensive endoscopic test procedures like cystoscopy.

Visit the website

iOnctura
Open

iOnctura, an immuno-oncology spin-out, was launched in 2017 with an aim to develop a pipeline of selected assets that target and modulate mechanisms that drive immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment (TME). The company, launched by Merck Ventures, was formed around three assets from Cancer Research Technology  and two assets from the Healthcare R&D portfolio of Merck. iOnctura, through its alliances with CRT and Merck, has already built a pipeline of promising programs and entered a research collaboration with CRUK-TDL.

 

InferMed Ltd.
Open

InferMed is a software and services provider that offers a range of software solutions for collecting and managing data that is designed for improving patient outcomes and delivering drugs and therapies to market more efficiently.

Visit the website

Inivata
Open

Inivata, a clinical cancer genomics company focused on harnessing the potential of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis to improve cancer testing and treatment, was established in 2014. Inivata’s founders are recognised leaders in the clinical genomics and ctDNA fields having developed pioneering ctDNA and novel treatment approaches in Cancer Research UK-funded laboratories at the University of Cambridge.

Visit the website

KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Open

KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, a spin-out company based upon the science of DNA damage sensing, signaling and repair to address unmet medical needs in cancer treatment, was acquired by AstraZeneca for $210m in 2006.

MISSION Therapeutics
Open

A team led by Professor Stephen Jackson together with CRT and the University of Cambridge founded MISSION Therapeutics Ltd in 2011 to commercialise expert research into the ubiquitin pathway for the treatment of cancers and other diseases of unmet need. In February 2016, MISSION annouced it had raised £60m to maximize the potential of its world leading DUB platform and advance a series of first-in-class small molecule drugs candidates targeting specific DUBs into clinical development.

Visit the website
 

Piramed Ltd.
Open

Piramed's principal target focus is the superfamily of lipid kinases, exemplified by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase), for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. It was acquired by Roche in 2008.

PsiOxus
Open

PsiOxus was formed in 2010 through the acquisition of Hybrid Biosystems by Myotec Therapeutics. PsiOxus’ principal expertise lies in the modification of natural organisms and macromolecules to enhance their therapeutic potency, safety and delivery kinetics, with leading expertise in the field of oncolytic vaccines.

Visit the website

Spirogen Sarl
Open

Spirogen, a company spun-out of UCL, was sold to AstraZeneca’s MedImmune for an initial payment of $200 million. Spirogen focuses on antibody-drug conjugate technology; technology which has the potential to directly target cancer tumours while leaving healthy cells intact.

Visit the website

  • In 2016 CRT and Syncona launched Achilles Therapeutics to develop immunotherapies for cancer. It brings together world-class research from UCL (University College London) and the Francis Crick Institute, funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

    Achilles Therapeutics will develop and commercialise neo-antigen technologies arising from CRUK’s £14million TRACERx study. It aims to exploit specific tumour neo-antigens to develop immune-therapies.

    For more information view our press release

  • Acublate Limited was founded in 2012 by CRT to develop a next generation High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) surgery device to treat a range of solid tumour types. HIFU is a non-invasive type of surgery which uses ultrasound energy to heat and destroy tumors while leaving surrounding healthy tissue intact.

    For more information view our press release

  • AIMM Therapeutics B.V. was established in 2004 with the goal to develop therapeutic and prophylactic human monoclonal antibodies. AIMM capitalizes on a breakthrough proprietary technology to isolate human monoclonal antibodies for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, inflammatory diseases and cancer. AIMM received financing from its principal investor, the AMC and from the Life Science Fund Amsterdam.

    Visit the website

  • [[{"fid":"2171","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":131,"width":258,"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]]Arquer Diagnostics Ltd. is a private, UK-based company specialising in the development of innovative, non-invasive oncological diagnostic solutions. Our initial focus is on the development of lab based tests for urological (prostate and bladder) cancers. Arquer Diagnostics was rebranded from Urosens Ltd. in 2015.

    Visit the website

     

     

  • In 2016 CRT and SV life Sciences launched Artios Pharma to develop drugs targeting the DNA damage response in cancer.

    Artios licensed its two lead programmes from CRT and signed a non-exclusive research collaboration agreement with the CRUK-TDL to progress the lead programmes, and discover and develop additional promising drug targets selected from Cancer Research UK’s portfolio of DNA damage repair research.

    For more information view our press release

  • BliNK Therapeutics, a B-cell antibody company founded by CRT and Kurma Life Sciences Partners in 2011, and European biotechnology company Valneva established BliNK Biomedical SAS in January 2015. The new company, which will specialise in the discovery of innovative monoclonal antibodies, is owned by Valneva and Kurma Biofund I with funds managed by Idinvest Partners, CRT and BliNK Therapeutics’ founders.
  • The Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and CRT launched a collaboration in 2015 aiming to translate an academic discovery programme funded by Cancer Research UK and developed by Dr Steven Lee and Prof Roy Bicknell at the University of Birmingham into a commercially viable cell therapy. The collaborating partners have launched a new company, Chimeric Therapeutics Ltd.

  • Cytosystems Ltd develops advanced, laboratory-based diagnostic tests for cancer which are aimed at replacing invasive, distressing and expensive endoscopic test procedures like cystoscopy.

    Visit the website

  • [[{"fid":"2346","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":72,"width":149,"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"2"}}]]iOnctura, an immuno-oncology spin-out, was launched in 2017 with an aim to develop a pipeline of selected assets that target and modulate mechanisms that drive immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment (TME). The company, launched by Merck Ventures, was formed around three assets from Cancer Research Technology  and two assets from the Healthcare R&D portfolio of Merck. iOnctura, through its alliances with CRT and Merck, has already built a pipeline of promising programs and entered a research collaboration with CRUK-TDL.

     

  • InferMed is a software and services provider that offers a range of software solutions for collecting and managing data that is designed for improving patient outcomes and delivering drugs and therapies to market more efficiently.

    Visit the website

  • Inivata, a clinical cancer genomics company focused on harnessing the potential of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis to improve cancer testing and treatment, was established in 2014. Inivata’s founders are recognised leaders in the clinical genomics and ctDNA fields having developed pioneering ctDNA and novel treatment approaches in Cancer Research UK-funded laboratories at the University of Cambridge.

    Visit the website

  • KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, a spin-out company based upon the science of DNA damage sensing, signaling and repair to address unmet medical needs in cancer treatment, was acquired by AstraZeneca for $210m in 2006.

  • A team led by Professor Stephen Jackson together with CRT and the University of Cambridge founded MISSION Therapeutics Ltd in 2011 to commercialise expert research into the ubiquitin pathway for the treatment of cancers and other diseases of unmet need. In February 2016, MISSION annouced it had raised £60m to maximize the potential of its world leading DUB platform and advance a series of first-in-class small molecule drugs candidates targeting specific DUBs into clinical development.

    Visit the website
     

  • Piramed's principal target focus is the superfamily of lipid kinases, exemplified by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase), for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. It was acquired by Roche in 2008.

  • PsiOxus was formed in 2010 through the acquisition of Hybrid Biosystems by Myotec Therapeutics. PsiOxus’ principal expertise lies in the modification of natural organisms and macromolecules to enhance their therapeutic potency, safety and delivery kinetics, with leading expertise in the field of oncolytic vaccines.

    Visit the website

  • Spirogen, a company spun-out of UCL, was sold to AstraZeneca’s MedImmune for an initial payment of $200 million. Spirogen focuses on antibody-drug conjugate technology; technology which has the potential to directly target cancer tumours while leaving healthy cells intact.

    Visit the website