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Wellcome Trust £20 million financing agreement

UK biopharmaceutical company will be built based on Sanger Institute human monoclonal antibody technology.

Kymab is 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.

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

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.

"The development of Kymab is a fine example of meeting our aim of developing outcomes that improve healthcare," said Professor Mike Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "We have a model where novel antibody drug development will ensure that research initiated at the Institute is taken to therapeutic realization while access to tools and resources will stimulate academic research."

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, in its engineered chromosomes, the entire diversity of the B lymphocyte component of the human immune system.

"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," said Andrew Sandham, Chairman & CEO. "Our mission is to deliver innovative monoclonal antibody-based medicines and I am proud to be working with Dr Bradley and Dr Mike Owen, Chief Scientific Officer, to fulfill that objective."

The Kymouse™ platform is expected to generate highly selective, potent and well-tolerated human antibody-based biopharmaceuticals directed against clinically precedented and novel disease targets.

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