Upper Heyford-based DJS Antibodies, a biotech start-up company pioneering the development of novel antibody therapeutics for inflammatory disease, has topped off 2020 by securing £6 million in funding. Co-led by the registered charity which supports innovation LifeArc, with Sedgwick Yard, with new investment from Amgen Ventures and follow-on investment from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI).
DJS Antibodies has developed HEPTAD, a novel platform for antibody discovery which was built to overcome the challenges associated with discovering therapeutic quality antibodies to intractable G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) targets. This funding round will support the development of two candidate antibody therapeutics including an antibody therapeutic for chronic kidney disease (CKD), a long-term condition that leads to the irreversible and progressive loss of kidney function.
The funding will also support the development of the HEPTAD platform into an industrialised monoclonal antibody (mAb) discovery process capable of identifying and screening novel therapeutic mAb candidates.
David Llewellyn, Co-founder and CEO of DJS Antibodies said: “We’re very excited to start working with LifeArc and such a strong group of investors. We share a vision of bringing first-in-class, high-impact therapeutic antibodies to the clinic, and this support will accelerate our growth towards becoming leaders in GPCR antibody discovery and development.”
David Holbrook, Head of Seed Fund, LifeArc said: “The LifeArc Seed Fund is delighted to be supporting DJS Antibodies on its work on GPCR antibody targets and helping translate the science on the next step towards the patient. DJS Antibodies is an exemplar of the type of company we are trying to support—high-quality science, great scientists, strong start-up management all addressing a significant unmet patient need.”