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Alchemab awarded £1.7 million to accelerate Huntington’s drug development

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Alchemab Therapeutics has been awarded a grant of £1.7 million from Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst 2022 funding competition to accelerate development of a first-in-class therapy for Huntington’s disease.

Alchemab is collaborating with Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) to carry out preclinical studies to progress its panel of antibodies towards first in human studies.

The biotech seeks to find new drug targets by understanding the unique features of the antibody response of resilient individuals.

This process enables Alchemab to develop therapies based on naturally-derived antibodies to target hard-to-treat diseases impacting millions of people and which currently have limited therapeutic options.

Huntington’s Disease is a life-changing neurodegenerative disorder.

There is currently no cure or treatment to slow or stop disease progress, only treatments to help manage the symptoms.

Young Kwon, Chief Executive Officer of Alchemab, said:

“Our aim is to develop antibodies as therapies to transform the treatment of Huntington’s Disease by slowing or stopping the course of neurodegeneration.

“This latest funding from Innovate UK will enable us to accelerate development of our antibody and deliver some hope for patients.”

This is the second grant awarded to Alchemab and MDC and will support preclinical development of the lead antibody to demonstrate the required safety, efficacy and manufacturability profile for first-in-human clinical trials and preparation for later stages of development.

Jane Osbourn, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Alchemab, commented:

“Alchemab’s platform flips drug discovery on its head: we start with patient response and let it guide us to the most important targets and therapeutics.

“I’m excited that our novel approach has led us to this potential first-in-class antibody and target.

“We hope that this important program is one of many, opening up a new front in our ability to combat hard-to-treat diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancers.”

Dr Martin Main, Chief Scientist at Medicines Discovery Catapult, said:

“MDC exists to help companies like Alchemab develop innovative medicines that have the potential to change patient outcomes.

“We are very pleased to have secured the additional funding to continue working on this important project.

“By combining MDC’s expertise in pre-clinical imaging and biomarkers with Alchemab’s innovative antibody discovery platform, we hope to uncover much-needed treatment options for people living with Huntington’s Disease.”

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