Sanger spinoff nabs $30M to develop better antibodies

Just a few months after stepping down as director of the prestigious Sanger Institute in the UK, Professor Allan Bradley has snared a $30 million venture round from The Wellcome Trust to finance a biotech he founded which promises to develop a better monoclonal antibody with the help of a genomically engineered mouse.

Bradley, an internationally recognized genomics expert, helped develop a mouse model " that captures, in its engineered chromosomes, the entire diversity of the B lymphocyte component of the human immune system," says a release from the new biotech, Kymab. "The Kymouse platform is expected to generate highly selective, potent and well-tolerated human antibody-based biopharmaceuticals directed against clinically precedented and novel disease targets."

"Our investment in fundamental genomic research at The Sanger Institute is expected to deliver significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease," says Sir Mark Walport, director of The Wellcome Trust.  "We are delighted to be providing technology and the financial basis for Kymab's management team to build a major UK biopharmaceutical company."

Kymab has recruited a pair of well-known biopharma hands to run the company. CEO Andrew Sandham has run a string of biotech companies and CSO is a former Senior VP of Biopharmaceuticals at GSK. Kymab was set up in 2009 and ran in stealth mode until now.

- here's the Kymab release