Craigavon-based company receives £2m grant for cancer research

  • Almac Discoverypart of the Craigavon-based Almac Group, will partner with a Scottish company to further its cancer research under a £2m grant from Innovate UK.

    The biopharmaceutical company, which is focused on discovering innovative therapeutics for treating cancer, and Elasmogenan SME focused on the development of next generation biologics, have been awarded the grant through Innovate UK’s Innovation in Health and Life Sciences funding programme.

    The peer reviewed collaborative project is entitled ‘A Technology Platform for Next Generation VNAR (variable new antigen receptor) based Oncology Medicines.

    Almac first worked with Elasmogen on treatment of solid tumours in 2015. This new joint research programme broadens the collaborative work by combining Almac Discovery's expertise in protein engineering and oncology drug discovery with Elasmogen's expertise in the generation, screening and formatting of VNAR proteins. 

    Stephen Barr, President & Managing Director, Almac Discovery, said: “We are delighted to have secured this highly sought after funding from Innovate UK to support this novel field of research which is testament to the novelty of the proposed approach and the quality of the underlying technologies involved.

    “It is heartening to be able to continue and also broaden our successful collaboration with Elasmogen so that we may remain at the forefront of oncology discovery and ultimately benefit patients.”

    Caroline Barelle, Chief Executive Officer, Elasmogen, said: “Given the devastating and wide-ranging impact of cancer on the lives of so many people, there is a continual need to bring new innovative therapies into the clinic.

    “I have no doubt that by combining the oncology expertise of Almac with the advantages of our soloMER platform that we can deliver a new class of drugs to patients”. 

    Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency working with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.

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