Target tumours, safeguard healthy tissue
Achilles Therapeutics’ mission is to develop next-generation, patient-specific therapies that harness the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Their therapies will target the truncal (also known as clonal) tumour neo-antigens which are the unique flags to the immune system that are present on the surface of every cancer cell.
Targeting these truncal mutations provides the ideal route to direct a therapy to every cancer cell in an individual, whilst sparing healthy tissue.
Achilles Therapeutics brings together four scientific founders with world leading expertise in the understanding of cancer evolution, bioinformatics and the development of immunotherapies. The new company is headquartered in London and was launched in May 2016 with a financing round of £13.2m ($17.5m) led by Syncona with UCL Technology Fund and the Cancer Research Technology Pioneer Fund.
Therapy tailored to every patient
Professor Charles Swanton from the UCL Cancer Institute, who is the scientific founder of Achilles Therapeutics and a Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute, commented, ‘Our research could provide a truly personalised approach to lung cancer therapy by targeting cell surface markers that are specific to each patient and present on all cancer cells. We’re delighted to be able to bring this exciting science closer to the clinic.’
Iraj Ali, Partner with Syncona LLP and Director of Achilles Therapeutics, said, ‘We believe we are working with the world leaders capable of exploiting the confluence of two of the most exciting and innovative fields in healthcare today: cancer bioinformatics and immuno-therapy.’
The company’s CEO, Chris Ashton, added, ‘Bringing all of these major players together holds great promise for non-small cell lung cancer patients.’