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22 October 2020

King's immuno-oncology company receives £1 million grant to develop treatments for cancer

A spin-out company created by Professor Sophia Karagiannis and Professor James Spicer has secured a second Smart Grant of £1 million from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, in collaboration with King’s.

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Epsilogen Ltd, an immuno-oncology company developed by the King’s scientists is conducting ground-breaking work to develop novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer.

Studies at King’s undertaken by Professor Karagiannis’ team, from the School of Basic & Medical Biosciences, have shown that IgE therapies have specific properties that allow them to activate the human immune system to effectively target cancer cells. Initial studies to develop the first-in-class IgE and early prototypes of this platform and to test the first IgE in early clinical trials was supported through several funding streams including the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ BRC.

The company will work with King’s  and use the Smart Grant to further develop a novel cancer immunotherapeutic, EPS 201, an IgE-based antibody targeting HER2 positive (HER2+ve) solid tumours.

IgE therapies have a clear differentiation from IgG-based therapies, given their completely unique anti-cancer mode of action. Furthermore, EPS 201 has potential to address a large unmet need in breast cancer patients with HER2 positive cancers, making it an ideal candidate for further funding and investigation.

Sophia Karagiannis, Professor of Translational Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy from The School of Basic & Medical Biosciences

Dr Tim Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Epsilogen, added: “We are proud to have been awarded another grant from Innovate UK for our pioneering work developing IgE-based therapeutics. It is a recognition of our progress to date and the potential that our therapies have in treating patients with cancer. We are looking forward to continuing our very successful collaboration with King’s College London and Professor Karagiannis, whose ground-breaking work is the foundation of the company we are today.”

The company previously received a funding grant of £1.45 million in May 2018. Use the link to read the Epsilogen Ltd. press release.

In this story

Sophia Karagiannis

Professor of Translational Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 

James Spicer

Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine