Crescendo Biologics raises funds to advance the development of its fragment antibody technology platforms

Crescendo Biologics ("Crescendo") today announces it has raised GBP4.5 million in a seed-funding round to advance the development of its fragment antibody technology platforms. The funding round was led by Sofinnova Partners, a Paris-based venture capital firm, with Aitua, Avlar BioVentures and the Rainbow Seed Fund also participating.

Crescendo brings together highly innovative in vivo and in vitro technology platforms invented by scientists at the Babraham Institute, including Dr Marianne Bruggemann, a pioneer in the development of human antibody transgenics, and Dr Mike Taussig, an expert in protein display and array systems. Crescendo's technology platforms will enable the Company to generate diverse, stable and optimised human heavy chain (VH) fragments, the smallest functional binding units of an antibody molecule. These fragments offer several advantages as starting points for the development of novel therapeutics: they can be administered topically by inhaled and oral routes as well as by injection; they provide great flexibility in 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 to rapidly and predictably 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 which offers significant advantages in antibody optimisation.

The seed funding will allow Crescendo to advance the development of these platforms and to initiate the development of proprietary therapeutics, following the appointment of the CSO, Dr Mike Romanos, who has extensive experience in biopharmaceutical R&D and played a pivotal role in building GlaxoSmithKline's antibody discovery platform (see separate release).

Mike Romanos, CSO at Crescendo Biologics, said: "This substantial funding from experienced life sciences investors provides a powerful validation of our approach to creating next-generation targeted biological therapeutics based on fragment antibodies. 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."

Graziano Seghezzi, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, said: "Antibodies have proved to be extremely effective therapeutics commanding huge market value and there is a great deal of demand from within the pharmaceutical industry for next-generation antibody technologies that can underpin further growth. We believe that Crescendo has the right technology, IP, expertise and vision to become a world-leading next generation antibody developer."

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