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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

Launched in 2016 by CRUK and SynconaAchilles is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immunotherapies targeting clonal neoantigens. It brings together world-class research from University College London and the Francis Crick Institute, with funding from CRUK and the National Institute for Health Research.

 

Achilles will develop and commercialise neo-antigen technologies arising from CRUK’s £14M TRACERx study and exploit these to develop personalised T cell therapies for different tumour profiles. 

For more information view our press release

ADC Therapeutics
Open

ADC Therapeutics is a clinical stage drug discovery company developing pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) armed antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for treatment of solid and haematological tumours.

Led by CRUK, ADC Therapeutics was launched as a spinout from Spirogen in 2011. Since its formation the company has raised over $530M to progress its pipeline of best-in-class PBD-armed ADCs to address significant areas of unmet medical need and improve outcomes for difficult to treat cancers.

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

Established in 2006, Arquer Diagnostics is focused on the development and commercialisation of non-invasive immunoassay tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of urological cancer. Arquer tests are based on minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins, markers for the presence of dividing cancer cells, with MCM technology licensed from CRUK.

Arquer Diagnostics was rebranded from UroSen in 2015.

Visit the website

 

 

Artios Pharma
Open

Launched in 2017 by CRUK and SV Life Sciences, Artios is a next generation oncology company targeting cancer evolution and treatment resistance through DNA Damage Response (DDR) pathways.

Artios licensed its two lead programmes from CRUK and signed a non-exclusive research collaboration agreement with CRUK-TDL to progress these leads, and discover and develop additional promising targets from CRUK’s DDR research portfolio.

For more information view our press release

Autolus
Open

Autolus is an immuno-oncology spinout from University College London developing next generation immunotherapies for treatment of haematological cancers and solid tumours.

Founded in 2014 on the pioneering research of Dr Martin Pule, the company is engineering precisely targeted, controlled and highly active CAR-T therapies to better recognise and kill cancer cells.

Since its inception Autolus has undergone rapid and systematic growth, increasing its capabilities to manufacture and advance its pipeline of promising candidates through clinical trials.

Azeria Therapeutics
Open

Azeria Therapeutics is the world’s first fox head box pioneer factor drug discovery company. Formed in 2017 by Dr Jason Carron at the CRUK Cambridge Institute and CRUK-TDL, Azeria is focused on developing breakthrough treatments for hormone resistant breast and prostate cancer, both significant areas of unmet clinical need.

Chimeric Therapeutics Ltd.
Open

Established in 2015, Chimeric Therapeutics was formed as a collaboration between the Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and CRUK. Bringing together extensive regulatory, clinical, analytical and manufacturing expertise the partnership aims to translate an academic discovery programme, funded by CRUK and developed by Dr Steven Lee and Professor Roy Bicknell, into a commercially viable cell therapy.

Chroma Therapeutics
Open

Chroma Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company focused on novel small-molecule cancer therapeutics. Formed in 2005, Chroma is building a pipeline of first- or best-in-class treatments utilising its expertise in chromatin biology.

Cytosystems Ltd.
Open

Cytosystems is a clinical stage diagnostics company formed as a spinout from the universities of Cambridge and Aberdeen in 2006. With licenses for MCM technology from CRUK, Cytosystems is focused on the development of non-invasive MCM2 antibody diagnostic technology in a whole cell approach.

Visit the website

GammaDelta Therapeutics
Open

GammaDelta Therapeutics is a breakthrough cancer immunotherapy spinout launched in 2016. The company is founded on pioneering research into gamma T cells by Professor Adrian Hayday and Dr Oliver Nussbaumer at Kings College London and the Francis Crick Institute, with funding from CRUK.

Gamma delta T cells are a unique population of lymphocytes that play an important role in immune response. The company is focused on exploiting the properties of these cells to develop improved immunotherapies for cancer and other serious immune associated diseases.

Inivata
Open

Established in 2014, Inivata is a clinical liquid biopsy company focused on harnessing the potential of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) for early detection of cancer.

Based on pioneering research by its founders at the CRUK Cambridge Institute and University of Cambridge, Inivata aims to advance its ctDNA detection platform and disease focused ctDNA gene panel tests to enable early detection of a range of cancers.

Visit the website

iOnctura
Open

Launched a spinout from Merck KGaA in 2017, iOnoctura is a late stage preclinical immuno-oncology company developing next generation best-in-class drugs to target mechanisms that drive immunosuppression in the tumour microenvironment.

Launched by Merck Ventures, the company was formed around three assets from CRUK and two assets from the Healthcare R&D portfolio of Merck.

Through its alliances with CRUK and Merck, iOnoctura has already built a pipeline of promising programmes and entered into a research collaboration with CRUK-TDL. The company aims to advance these programmes, harnessing both immune-mediated and direct anti-tumour activity, to deliver superior clinical efficacy.

 

Karus Therapeutics
Open

Karus Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision medicines for cancer. It was launched as a spinout from the University of Southampton in 2005 with funding from CRUK.

KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Open

KuDOS Pharmaceuticals was a CRUK spinout based upon the science of DNA damage sensing, signaling and repair to address unmet medical needs in cancer treatment. It was successfully exited and was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006 for $210M.

MISSION Therapeutics
Open

A team led by Professor Steven Jackson together with CRUK and the University of Cambridge founded Mission Therapeutics in 2011 to commercialise expert research in the deubiquitylating enzyme (DUB) field.

The company has received over £60M in venture capital from a syndicate of blue chip investors to maximise the potential of its world leading DUB platform and advance a series of first-in-class small molecule DUB inhibitors through clinical development.

Visit the website
 

PsiOxus
Open

PsiOxus was formed in 2010 through the merger of Myotec and Hybrid Biosystems. Its principal expertise lies in the modification of natural organisms and macromolecules to enhance their therapeutic potency, safety and kinetics.

With leading expertise in the field of oncolytic vaccines, the company is focused on the discovery and development of innovative gene based immune-oncology treatments using its proprietary T-SIGn virus platform.

Visit the website

Storm Therapeutics
Open

Storm Therapeutics is a University of Cambridge spinout developing first-in-class small molecule inhibitors of RNA modifying enzymes in oncology. Formed in 2015, it is developing a leading platform to modulate RNA modifying enzymes based on the ground-breaking research of Professors Tony Kouzarides and Eric Miska. Storm is backed by blue chip investors Cambridge Innovation Capital, Merck Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, Taiho Ventures LCC, IP Group and Seroba Life Sciences from which it has received greater than £30M to advance its disruptive technology.  

  • Launched in 2016 by CRUK and SynconaAchilles is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immunotherapies targeting clonal neoantigens. It brings together world-class research from University College London and the Francis Crick Institute, with funding from CRUK and the National Institute for Health Research.

     

    Achilles will develop and commercialise neo-antigen technologies arising from CRUK’s £14M TRACERx study and exploit these to develop personalised T cell therapies for different tumour profiles. 

    For more information view our press release

  • ADC Therapeutics is a clinical stage drug discovery company developing pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) armed antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for treatment of solid and haematological tumours.

    Led by CRUK, ADC Therapeutics was launched as a spinout from Spirogen in 2011. Since its formation the company has raised over $530M to progress its pipeline of best-in-class PBD-armed ADCs to address significant areas of unmet medical need and improve outcomes for difficult to treat cancers.

  • 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

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    Established in 2006, Arquer Diagnostics is focused on the development and commercialisation of non-invasive immunoassay tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of urological cancer. Arquer tests are based on minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins, markers for the presence of dividing cancer cells, with MCM technology licensed from CRUK.

    Arquer Diagnostics was rebranded from UroSen in 2015.

    Visit the website

     

     

  • Launched in 2017 by CRUK and SV Life Sciences, Artios is a next generation oncology company targeting cancer evolution and treatment resistance through DNA Damage Response (DDR) pathways.

    Artios licensed its two lead programmes from CRUK and signed a non-exclusive research collaboration agreement with CRUK-TDL to progress these leads, and discover and develop additional promising targets from CRUK’s DDR research portfolio.

    For more information view our press release

  • Autolus is an immuno-oncology spinout from University College London developing next generation immunotherapies for treatment of haematological cancers and solid tumours.

    Founded in 2014 on the pioneering research of Dr Martin Pule, the company is engineering precisely targeted, controlled and highly active CAR-T therapies to better recognise and kill cancer cells.

    Since its inception Autolus has undergone rapid and systematic growth, increasing its capabilities to manufacture and advance its pipeline of promising candidates through clinical trials.

  • Azeria Therapeutics is the world’s first fox head box pioneer factor drug discovery company. Formed in 2017 by Dr Jason Carron at the CRUK Cambridge Institute and CRUK-TDL, Azeria is focused on developing breakthrough treatments for hormone resistant breast and prostate cancer, both significant areas of unmet clinical need.

  • Established in 2015, Chimeric Therapeutics was formed as a collaboration between the Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and CRUK. Bringing together extensive regulatory, clinical, analytical and manufacturing expertise the partnership aims to translate an academic discovery programme, funded by CRUK and developed by Dr Steven Lee and Professor Roy Bicknell, into a commercially viable cell therapy.

  • Chroma Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company focused on novel small-molecule cancer therapeutics. Formed in 2005, Chroma is building a pipeline of first- or best-in-class treatments utilising its expertise in chromatin biology.

  • Cytosystems is a clinical stage diagnostics company formed as a spinout from the universities of Cambridge and Aberdeen in 2006. With licenses for MCM technology from CRUK, Cytosystems is focused on the development of non-invasive MCM2 antibody diagnostic technology in a whole cell approach.

    Visit the website

  • GammaDelta Therapeutics is a breakthrough cancer immunotherapy spinout launched in 2016. The company is founded on pioneering research into gamma T cells by Professor Adrian Hayday and Dr Oliver Nussbaumer at Kings College London and the Francis Crick Institute, with funding from CRUK.

    Gamma delta T cells are a unique population of lymphocytes that play an important role in immune response. The company is focused on exploiting the properties of these cells to develop improved immunotherapies for cancer and other serious immune associated diseases.

  • Established in 2014, Inivata is a clinical liquid biopsy company focused on harnessing the potential of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) for early detection of cancer.

    Based on pioneering research by its founders at the CRUK Cambridge Institute and University of Cambridge, Inivata aims to advance its ctDNA detection platform and disease focused ctDNA gene panel tests to enable early detection of a range of cancers.

    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"}}]]

    Launched a spinout from Merck KGaA in 2017, iOnoctura is a late stage preclinical immuno-oncology company developing next generation best-in-class drugs to target mechanisms that drive immunosuppression in the tumour microenvironment.

    Launched by Merck Ventures, the company was formed around three assets from CRUK and two assets from the Healthcare R&D portfolio of Merck.

    Through its alliances with CRUK and Merck, iOnoctura has already built a pipeline of promising programmes and entered into a research collaboration with CRUK-TDL. The company aims to advance these programmes, harnessing both immune-mediated and direct anti-tumour activity, to deliver superior clinical efficacy.

     

  • Karus Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision medicines for cancer. It was launched as a spinout from the University of Southampton in 2005 with funding from CRUK.

  • KuDOS Pharmaceuticals was a CRUK spinout based upon the science of DNA damage sensing, signaling and repair to address unmet medical needs in cancer treatment. It was successfully exited and was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006 for $210M.

  • A team led by Professor Steven Jackson together with CRUK and the University of Cambridge founded Mission Therapeutics in 2011 to commercialise expert research in the deubiquitylating enzyme (DUB) field.

    The company has received over £60M in venture capital from a syndicate of blue chip investors to maximise the potential of its world leading DUB platform and advance a series of first-in-class small molecule DUB inhibitors through clinical development.

    Visit the website
     

  • PsiOxus was formed in 2010 through the merger of Myotec and Hybrid Biosystems. Its principal expertise lies in the modification of natural organisms and macromolecules to enhance their therapeutic potency, safety and kinetics.

    With leading expertise in the field of oncolytic vaccines, the company is focused on the discovery and development of innovative gene based immune-oncology treatments using its proprietary T-SIGn virus platform.

    Visit the website

  • Storm Therapeutics is a University of Cambridge spinout developing first-in-class small molecule inhibitors of RNA modifying enzymes in oncology. Formed in 2015, it is developing a leading platform to modulate RNA modifying enzymes based on the ground-breaking research of Professors Tony Kouzarides and Eric Miska. Storm is backed by blue chip investors Cambridge Innovation Capital, Merck Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, Taiho Ventures LCC, IP Group and Seroba Life Sciences from which it has received greater than £30M to advance its disruptive technology.