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University of Oxford: Oxford spin-out MiroBio acquired by Gilead Sciences for 405 million dollars | India Education | Latest Education News | World Education News


MiroBio, an Oxford biotech spin-out focused on inflammatory disease therapeutics, is set to be acquired by global biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences following the conclusion of a deal worth around £332m (405 million US dollars).

With its journey from spinning to output taking three years, the MiroBio team has delivered one of the fastest outputs for an Oxford spinning. Its development is based on more than 15 years of research at Oxford on a fundamental principle of immune cell signaling called Kinetic-Segregation, discovered by Professor Simon Davis of the Radcliffe Department of Medicine and co-developed with Professor Richard Cornall, Professor Nuffield of clinical medicine in the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

“Once the mechanism was established, it was clear that we could develop antibodies capable of activating ‘checkpoint’ inhibitory receptors, which exist in a wide variety of different forms on white blood cells, to treat human diseases. involving graft rejection, allergy, inflammation and autoimmunity. These diseases have a devastating impact on the lives of people all over the world every day. Accelerating clinical trials and ultimately the development of life-saving drugs will make a major difference for patients,” said Professor Davis.

This research paved the way for the development of MiroBio’s proprietary discovery platform, I-ReSToRE (REceptor Selection and Targeting to Reinstate immune Equilibrium), and the company’s portfolio of immune inhibitory receptor agonists, both of which form the heart of the agreement with Gilead. MiroBio’s lead investigational antibody, MB272, entered Phase I trials this week, with the first patient receiving a dose on August 2. The antibody targets T, B and dendritic cells with the aim of blocking their activation and suppressing inflammatory immune responses. Through I-ReSToRE, which supports the identification and development of therapies for inflammatory diseases, MiroBio and Gilead plan to identify and advance additional agonists.

Launched in 2019, MiroBio was co-founded by Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), an independent investment firm backing Oxford spin-outs, Tim Funnell, OSE’s Vice President of Operations at the time, and Samsara BioCapital , an American venture capital firm, working closely with MiroBio. scientific founders.

MiroBio has since grown into one of Oxford’s most promising university spin-offs, quickly outgrowing its first home on Oxford’s BioEscalator site and moving to its current home on Oxford Science Park. This remarkable growth has been made possible not only by the idea behind the company, but also by the strong collaborative network of partnerships on which the company has been built.

“The creation of MiroBio is the result of a series of friendships and partnerships, and has benefited from the rapidly changing Oxford biotech ecosystem, including the funding environment that has been created here” , said Professor Cornall.

Conversations between Davis, Cornall, and Srini Akkaraju, a colleague of Cornall’s from his time at Stanford, helped launch the company. Founder of Samsara BioCapital, Akkaraju hosted the introduction of old friend and colleague Eliot Charles, another life sciences-focused venture capitalist who had recently moved to the UK and then joined the company as a Launch CEO and later its President. At the same time, OSE’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Tim Funnell, embarked on the day-to-day challenge of setting up MiroBio, leaving OSE to become its vice president of operations.

The company received support from Dr. Matt Carpenter and Dr. Benedicte Menn of Oxford University Innovation (OUI), who protected MiroBio’s assets, provided initial funding and represented faculty in negotiations.

OSE and Samsara helped structure and co-lead MiroBio’s Series A, which was joined by international life sciences investors SR One and Advent Life Sciences, raising £27m – a significant sum for a young spin out.

“The last key piece of the puzzle was Chris Paluch,” added Professor Davis, “He developed many of the assets with us and decided to leave his specialist clinical training and join MiroBio as a co-founder, where he directed its basic research and drug discovery programs.’

Speaking on the agreement, Eliot Charles, President of MiroBio, said: “MiroBio has a deep understanding of checkpoint receptor signaling and a proprietary approach to selecting and generating superior agonist antibodies. The combination of this together with Gilead’s drug development and therapeutic area expertise will allow us to fully explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies for patients with autoimmune diseases.

For Chas Bountra, pro vice-chancellor for innovation at the University of Oxford, the origins, rapid development and release of MiroBio underscore the potential of Oxford’s innovation ecosystem to deliver breakthrough innovation to from world-class ideas.

“MiroBio was founded by two of our brightest academics, supported by fabulous colleagues from OUI, OSE and other investment companies,” added Professor Bountra. “This new partnership with a highly innovative global pharmaceutical company will accelerate the introduction of new therapies that are changing the lives of millions of patients. It is another illustration of the large, dynamic and growing innovation ecosystem that surrounds this great university. This exciting story will no doubt inspire many more of our researchers and students. I know the founders are already thinking about the next big health issue.

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