Saturday, April 1, 2023

Deep Science Ventures deepens CRUK pact to co-found oncology startups

Venture builder Deep Science Ventures (DSV) has expanded an existing alliance with Cancer Research Horizons, the innovation-focused arm of Cancer Research UK, with the mission of establishing new oncology startups in the UK.

Just months after Cancer Research UK (CRUK) established its industry-oriented division Cancer Research Horizons, the research charity has doubled down in collaboration with DSV, a UK venture builder working in a range of sectors including biotech, agriculture and computing.

According to the latest agreement, the partners will co-found startups working in 10 areas of oncology, such as improving the number of patients who can benefit from immuno-oncology treatment.

The resulting ventures of the new agreement will be incorporated into Cancer Research Horizons’ laboratory network. The first startup is expected to focus on re-tuning the immune system so that it responds better to immunotherapy. Another startup will develop treatments for neurofibromatosis, a collection of rare genetic disorders that cause benign tumors to develop on nerves and often cause a range of complications such as pain, hearing loss and learning loss.

To support the efforts of the Neurofibromatosis Project, DSV and Cancer Research Horizons have enlisted the non-profit organization Children’s Tumor Foundation, which has a wide network of expertise around neurofibromatosis. Partners is looking for other private and not-for-profit partners to work with them in other oncology areas.

According to Laura Fletcher, Head of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at DSV, cancer remains a major killer worldwide, despite billions being invested in cancer research each year.

“We’ve seen these very exciting advances around certain types of immunotherapy, whether it’s cell-based therapy or checkpoint inhibitor therapy,” she noted. “And some patients respond really, really well, but equally there’s a large subgroup of patients who respond very poorly, don’t respond at all or rapidly develop resistance to these kinds of treatments.” So clearly there’s still a lot of need to find new ways to deal with it.”

One area of ​​focus for the partnership are specific types of esophageal and other solid tumors that are able to suppress immune cells despite being infiltrated by immune cells. Research is underway to discover a multi-pronged strategy that can flip immune cells back into attack mode in this type of tumor.

DSV has worked with CRUK prior to founding the companies Enedra Therapeutics, Stratosvir and Neobe Therapeutics. Unlike many investment firms, DSV specializes in building companies from scratch based on original scientific research and getting them off the ground with the help of so-called founding analysts in its network.

Despite the loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic, CRUK is emerging with new energy to improve cancer treatment. Earlier this year, it added several research divisions to Cancer Research Horizons as part of an effort to accelerate and fund oncology innovation.

“Cancer Research Horizons supports an extraordinary network of more than 4,000 researchers,” said Hamish Ryder, CEO of Cancer Research Horizon’s therapeutic innovation organization. “Our enterprise building alliance with Deep Science Ventures provides them with the opportunity to join us in a novel model for innovation that we hope will tackle some of the most pressing challenges in cancer medicine, allowing us to positively change the way we treat patients.” Will bring.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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