Biotech company Maxion Therapeutics has received £2 million in funding from Innovate UK's Biomedical Catalyst 2022 Round 2: Industry-led R&D funding competition. The funding will be used to develop antibodies for treating autoimmune diseases with high unmet clinical needs using the company's proprietary KnotBody platform. This funding is part of a larger investment of £25 million by UK Research and Innovation in support of UK-based businesses developing innovative healthcare solutions.
Treating autoimmune diseases effectively remains a significant medical challenge, with over 80 different autoimmune conditions affecting about 300 million people worldwide. In the UK, 4 million people live with AID, and the incidence of the condition is increasing by 3-9% annually. In spite of the fact that antibody-based therapies have revolutionized the treatment of chronic conditions like AID, providing improved efficacy and safety, a significant proportion of patients do not respond well to current therapies, such as Humira. As a result of these therapies, infections can also become more prevalent due to broad immunosuppression. Therefore, novel treatments are needed to provide better patient coverage while minimizing adverse effects.
Maxion Therapeutics is creating innovative biologic medications to target ion channels and GPCRs, which are crucial cell surface proteins involved in a range of untreated or poorly-treated diseases, such as chronic pain and autoimmune conditions. The innovative company uses its proprietary KnotBody technology, which produces long-acting, selective, and potent target modulators resembling antibodies. The technology combines advanced phage and mammalian display technologies with millions of years of cysteine-rich miniprotein, known as 'Knottin', evolution, enabling it to overcome major challenges in ion channel and GPCR drug discovery.
“We are delighted to receive this substantial award from Innovate UK, to support the use of our KnotBody technology to develop therapeutics against this important but challenging class of targets. Our ultimate goal is to significantly improve the quality of life of patients by preventing and treating devastating autoimmune conditions through the expansion and optimization of our innovative pipeline of candidate therapeutics,”
- outlines the CEO and co-founder of Maxion Therapeutics, Dr. John McCafferty.
Maxion Therapeutics is located in Cambridge, UK, at the Babraham Institute and is led by an experienced team with a strong track record. Dr. John McCafferty and Dr. Aneesh Karatt Vellatt, the co-founders of Maxion Therapeutics, have a history of partnership, having previously co-founded IONTAS. Both co-invented KnotBody technology, and Dr. McCafferty was also a co-inventor of antibody phage display, which won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his co-inventor, Sir Gregory Winter.
“KnotBody technology overcomes many of the challenges presented by conventional antibody development techniques, with an ability to specifically target ion channels linked to chronic autoimmune diseases. We are excited by the potential therapeutic candidates in our pipeline, and this new funding from Innovate UK will allow us to expedite their development and progress the most promising drug candidate towards clinical trials,”
- comments Dr. Aneesh Karatt Vellatt, CSO and co-founder of Maxion Therapeutics.