Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Orchard Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company with operations in London and the U.S., has officially launched with a £21-million Series A financing led by F-Prime Capital. As part of its launch, the company has announced formal partnerships with University College London (UCL), Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH), the University of Manchester, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Boston Children’s Hospital for the development of transformative gene therapies for serious and life-threatening orphan diseases.
UCL is launching the UCL Technology Fund to invest £50 million ($55 million) in commercializing its research emerging over the next five years. The Fund will be used to support academics whose research has commercial potential, with funding for early stage proof-of-concept, licensing projects and new spinout companies.
Syncona, an independent subsidiary of the Wellcome Trust, and UCL Business have announced the creation of biopharmaceutical company Freeline Therapeutics to develop and commercialize gene therapies for bleeding and other debilitating disorders.
Autifony Therapeutics, which is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceutical treatments for hearing loss and other serious brain disorders, has started phase I clinical evaluation of its second Kv3 modulator, AUT00206.
UCL Business, the wholly owned technology transfer company of UCL, has formed Athena Vision, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of gene therapies to treat a range of devastating eye diseases causing blindness.
Medical Research Council (MRC), GlaxoSmithKline and five U.K. universities are collaborating on difficult disease areas. The Experimental Medicine Initiative to Explore New Therapies (EMINENT) network will be coordinated by University College London (UCL) and will bring together teams of researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Glasgow, Newcastle, Imperial College London and UCL with GSK researchers to study the fundamental biological mechanisms responsible for a range of inflammatory diseases.
Vtesse, a rare disease company focused on developing drugs for Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC) and other severe diseases with great unmet need, has formed its scientific advisory board (SAB). Comprising experts from a range of fields including pediatrics, translational medicine, biomarker research and genetics, the SAB will advise on clinical and regulatory strategy as well as product development for the company’s lead candidate, VTS-270.
Alzheimer’s Research U.K., a dedicated dementia research charity, has announced a $46.3 million Drug Discovery Alliance, launching three flagship Drug Discovery Institutes at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and University College London (UCL). The Drug Discovery Institutes will see 90 new research scientists employed in state-of-the-art facilities to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.