Crescendo Biologics has raised £4.5m in a seed funding round
Crescendo Biologics has raised £4.5m in a seed-funding round to advance the development of its fragment antibody technology. Sofinnova Partners, a Paris-based venture capital firm, led the funding.
Crescendo brings together in vivo and in vitro technology platforms invented by scientists at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK. These technologies will enable the company to generate diverse, stable and optimised human heavy chain (VH) fragments, the smallest functional binding units of an antibody molecule.
The company says these fragments offer several advantages: they can be administered topically by inhaled and oral routes, as well as by injection; they provide flexibility in the format of the product, including bi-specific targeting; they are easy to manufacture and stable; and they have the potential to target binding sites inaccessible to conventional antibodies.
The Crescendo transgenic mouse platform has the potential rapidly and predictably to generate human VH fragments that have high affinity and solubility, and no requirement for humanisation. This is combined with a powerful in vitro ribosome display technology that offers significant advantages in antibody optimisation.
The seed funding will allow Crescendo to advance the development of these platforms and initiate the development of proprietary therapeutics following the appointment of chief scientific officer, Dr Mike Romanos, who played a pivotal role in building GlaxoSmithKline's antibody discovery platform.
"With the funding in place, we will be able to accelerate the development of our technology platforms and advance their application to in-house projects," said Romanos.