Quell Therapeutics, a new spin-out to advance Treg cell therapiesPublished: May 22, 2019
King’s and University College London (UCL) have announced the launch of a new spin-out biotech company, Quell Therapeutics, to develop engineered T regulatory (Treg) cell therapies.
Tregs are a subset of immune cells that regulate or suppress other immune cells. They control the immune response to self and foreign particles and thus help prevent autoimmune disease. By utilizing the power of Treg cells, the company aims to advance therapies for treating and managing conditions such as solid organ transplant rejection, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Quell has raised £35 million in Series A financing. Syncona, a UK life sciences trust which committed £34 million is the lead investor with a further £1 million being contributed by UCL Technology Fund.
Based in London, Quell was formed in partnership between King’s College and UCL with leading experts in the Treg field, cell engineering, solid organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases from King’s, UCL and Hannover Medical School.
Treg has received a lot of attention the past few years, attracting investors and promoting collaborations. This is best evidenced by two recent acquisitions- French Treg biotech TxCell being acquired by Sangamo Therapeutics last year and Canadian biotech Parvus Therapeutics signing a big deal with Genentech only last week.
Initially Quell researchers will work in UCL and King’s College London and they will use the viral vector manufacturing facilities at King’s and expertise from the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ BRC Advanced Therapy Manufacturing (GMP) Platform.
Elisa Petris, Partner of Syncona Investment Management Limited commented: “The foundation of Quell represents an exciting opportunity for Syncona to build the leading cell engineering company with the potential to develop a first-in-class therapy in an innovative field. Over the last year, we have worked to bring together a group of world-class leaders in their respective fields, developed a strategy for the business and funded the business to enable it to scale and succeed.
Source: Quell Therapeutics Ltd founded for emerging area of cell therapy; Press Release