Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute launches spin-out company

The Wellcome Trust today announces a £20 million investment in Kymab, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialisation of novel monoclonal antibody medicines. The company is a spin-out from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, a world leader in the Human Genome Project and genetic studies to determine the function of genes in health and disease.

Kymab will develop optimised monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of select diseases with high unmet medical need using its proprietary genomically engineered mouse, the Kymouse™. The company will address a broader range of disease targets in partnership with academic organisations and pharmaceutical companies, using the Kymouse™ platform.

Kymab was founded by Professor Allan Bradley, FRS, Director Emeritus of the Sanger Institute. He is a world leader in genome engineering using embryonic stem cells. Kymab has acquired technology from Professor Bradley's laboratory, which enables the development of a mouse that captures the entire diversity of the B lymphocyte component of the human immune system in its engineered chromosomes. The Kymouse™ platform is expected to generate highly selective, potent and well-tolerated human antibody-based biopharmaceuticals directed against clinically documented and novel disease targets.

Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "Our investment in fundamental genomic research at the Sanger Institute is expected to deliver significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are delighted to be providing technology and the financial basis for Kymab's management team to build a major UK biopharmaceutical company."

Andrew Sandham, Chairman and CEO, said: "Professor Bradley, the Wellcome Trust and the Sanger Institute have provided us with the vision and resources to build a substantial biopharmaceutical enterprise over the next decade. Our mission is to deliver innovative monoclonal antibody-based medicines and I am proud to be working with Professor Bradley and Dr Mike Owen, Chief Scientific Officer, to fulfil that objective."