Unlocking an expansive target space to build a pipeline of novel, TCR-based therapeutics.

Our Science

At T-Cypher Bio we generate TCR-based therapeutics that have the potential to transform the treatment of solid tumours, autoimmune, inflammatory, and infectious diseases. T-Cypher’s proprietary automated high-throughput microfluidic discovery platform generates target screening libraries to identify functionally defined T-cell clones directly from disease tissues. The discovery platform forms the foundation of our expanding pipeline, which includes an end-to-end approach to cell therapy development and patient treatment. 

Media

July 15, 2021

Appointment of CEO

February 25, 2021

Biocentury

February 25, 2021

BioWorld

February 25, 2021

GlobalNewswire

Our Team

Thomas Lars Andresen

CEO

Thomas L. Andresen was most recently the CSO of Torque Therapeutics, now Repertoire Immune Medicines, a company that has raised over $400m to support its primed adoptive cell transfer technology platform. While at Torque, Thomas led several cellular immunotherapy programs from early stage discovery, CMC scaling through to clinical development. Thomas is a serial entrepreneur, having founded several US and EU life-science companies including Torque Therapeutics, Nanovi A/S, and Monta Biosciences. His company creation track record spans early discovery through clinical development to commercial, and maps across immune and cellular therapy approaches in oncology. Thomas sits on several boards/advisory boards including Tidal Therapeutics (acquired by Sanofi), Monta Biosciences, and Nanovi.

His scientific background is in biomedical and biological engineering. His impact in academia recently culminated in establishing the Institute of Health Technology at the Technical University of Denmark with a patient-focused mission to innovate life changing health technologies. The Institute hosts over 500 researchers, and Thomas maintains a professorial position in drug engineering at the institute. He has co-authored over 200 research articles, is named on 45 patent applications and has received multiple research prizes including the Elite Research Price from the Danish Ministry of Science.

Mark Lees

VP Corporate Development

Mark joined T-Cypher as VP Corporate Development in June 2021. Mark joined from Mestag Therapeutics where, as VP Strategy and Operations, he supported the company through significant financing rounds and collaborative transactions. Prior to Mestag, Mark was VP Strategy and Operations at F-star Therapeutics supporting the development of their novel bispecific platform. Prior to that, Mark led executive operations at Immunocore, working on financing and leading strategic projects in support of Immunocore’s soluble TCR platform.

Mark holds a Masters of Biochemistry from the University of Oxford, a PhD in Genetics & Immunology from Imperial College London, and an MBA from the University of Oxford.

Nathaniel Davies

Head of Computational Biology

Nathaniel joined T-Cypher as Head of Computational Biology in April 2021. Prior to this, he led the early-stage computational work at Nucleome Therapeutics. Nathaniel's experience includes three years' work at Immunocore, leading work on TCR-based drug discovery databases and bioinformatics analysis pipelines. Nathaniel is passionate about using his cross-disciplinary experience to help bridge the gap between the computational and biological sciences.

Nathaniel holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of Leicester, an MSci in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence from Loughborough University, and carried out post-doctoral research at the University of Birmingham studying the immune evasion mechanisms of pancreatic cancer.

Kalle Soderstrom

Head of Autoimmune Therapies

Kalle has been leading research teams in academia (Karolinska Institute, Stanford University, and Oxford University) as well as R&D teams in large and small biotech companies in the US and Europe (Entelos Inc., Novo Nordisk AS, GammaDelta Therapeutics, DragonFly Therapeutics A/S). He has led several early discovery programs in industry involving antibodies as well as cell-based therapies towards successful FIH in autoimmunity and cancer. Kalle has a PhD in Immunology from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and subsequently made his post-doc at DNAX research institute in Palo Alto where he made seminal work on inhibitory receptor recognition of HLA-G and HLA-E. Later on, he was the first to define how stress-peptides interfere with such checkpoint receptor engagement. He has more than 40 publications and several patents in the field of immunology and autoimmune diseases.

Xiaoyan Pan

Senior Scientist - Research

Xiaoyan joined T-Cypher as Senior Scientist in October 2020. She has over 16 years of experience in molecular biology including 9 years in bead display and peptide library screen. Her two post-doc experiences were in molecular biology, immunology, and clinical trials. Before joining in, she is a Senior Scientist and team leader at Orbit Discovery, working on developing bead displayed peptide libraries and optimising the screen platform. She is keen to apply bead display technology in the development of T cell therapeutics.

Susanne O’Brien

Senior Scientist – Cell Biology

Susanne joined T-Cypher Bio as a Senior Scientist in Cell Biology. She has a background in Immunology and Stem Cell Biology with industry experience in TCR-T cell therapy development. Most recently, Susanne worked as a TCR Discovery Scientist at Immunocore where she was responsible for the discovery of novel TCRs for the company’s pipeline in oncology, infectious and autoimmune diseases. Susanne is excited about utilising her experience to accelerate T-Cypher Bio’s platform and pipeline of TCR-T cell therapies.
She holds a PhD from UCL and a MSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Vienna.

Juan H Bolivar Gonzalez

Senior Scientist

Juan is one of our Senior Scientists in Platform Research. He has an extensive background in protein science with a focus on biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology. After his PhD he joined the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher. His work in academia produced six research publications in the field of biochemistry and structural biology.

Juan next transitioned into industry as a tech development scientist in Orbit Discovery, where his experience helped develop peptide-protein display screening technologies. His experience in protein science and screening technologies provides a structural and biochemical perspective to the team to support HLA production and display development.

Juan holds a BSc and MSc in biomedical sciences and biochemistry from the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain, and then became a Marie Curie fellow at the University of Southampton to do his PhD, investigating how membrane lipids interact with ion channels to modulate function.

Emaan Atif

Scientist – Cell Biology

Emaan joined T-Cypher in July 2021. As a budding scientist, Emaan is passionate about immune-oncology and has experience working with different adoptive T-cell therapies for solid tumours. She also has a keen interest in improving the safety and efficacy of immunotherapeutic techniques. At T-Cypher, Emaan is excited to contribute to the promising sphere of TCR-T cell therapies!

She holds an MSc in Neuroscience and Cognition from Utrecht University.

Peter Brawn

Senior Scientist

Peter joined T-Cypher in July 2021 as a Senior Scientist with over eight years industrial experience working at the chemistry/biology interface and aiding in the development of an array of different platforms.
Prior to starting his role at T-Cypher, Peter was the Custom Conjugation manager at Bio-Rad Oxford and a Senior Scientist at Fleet Bioprocessing. Academically his background is in chemistry and organic chemistry, holding a BSc, MRes and PhD in the subject and is keen to use his skills and experience in the development of T-Cypher's novel platform.

Mário Barroca

Scientist – Protein Science

Mário joined T-Cypher in August 2021. During his academic career he worked in different areas of expertise, such as in protein science, enzymology, molecular biology and bioprocess design and optimisation. He has extensive experience in protein production, purification, characterisation and engineering, as well as bioproduct composition analyses and bioprocess optimisation. His work focused not only on engineering a xylanase enzyme and further investigating the potential of this enzyme for industrial applications but also on the development of E. coli as a cell factory system for the high-level recombinant production of protein-based polymers. Mário is looking to use his background knowledge and skills to aid T-Cypher achieve their goals.
He holds a PhD in Molecular and Environment Biology, with expertise in Industrial Biotechnology, from University of Minho.

Samantha Drennan

Senior Scientist – Cell Biology

Samantha joined T-Cypher Bio in September 2021 as a Senior Scientist with over 10 years’ experience in translational research. She has worked within multidisciplinary research teams to further the understanding of the impact of cancer on the immune system, mechanisms of disease and biological responses to novel therapies from patients on clinical trials. Samantha is driven to help improve the lives of patients and is excited to contribute to the ambitions of T-Cypher Bio. She holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from Hull York Medical School and a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from Durham University.

Maria Busz

Senior Scientist – Molecular Biology

Maria joined T-Cypher as Senior Scientist in August 2021. She has industrial experience in Single Cell Biology and TCR-based immunotherapy with a special interest in Next Generation Sequencing methods. Most recently Maria worked as a Senior Scientist in Single Cell group at Immunocore, where she was responsible for setting up the NGS platforms for TCR sequencing and T cell characterisation in oncology, infectious disease and autoimmune therapies. She is very excited to utilise her experience in development of T-Cypher’s platform. Maria holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from Newcastle University and a MSc from University of Agriculture in Krakow.

David Cook

Senior Scientist

David joined T-Cypher Bio as a Senior Scientist in Cell Biology with over 5 years industry experience in high content functional screening of primary immune cells. Most recently David worked as an in vitro assay development specialist at UCB where he designed and performed screening assays to discover novel pipeline candidate molecules. David is looking forward to contributing to the exciting area of cell therapy and driving T-Cypher’s novel platform forward. David undertook a BSc in natural sciences at the University of Durham before moving to the University of York to complete both an MRes in Functional Genomics and PhD in Cell Biology.

Simon Wright

Bioinformatic Developer

Simon joined T-Cypher Bio in October 2021 as a Bioinformatic Developer. Simon’s background is in Computer Science and Software Development, having had a career working for several internet start-ups designing and building large scale SaaS and cloud computing solutions based on Linux infrastructure. Most recently Simon worked as a Senior Linux Developer at Immunocore where he developed a passion for Bioinformatics whilst developing and supporting Linux applications for the Bioinformatics and Scientific Computing departments. Simon has a diploma in Computer Science and is currently studying for a degree in biology part-time.

Board of Directors

Thomas Lars Andresen

CEO & Director

Thomas L. Andresen was most recently the CSO of Torque Therapeutics, now Repertoire Immune Medicines, a company that has raised over $400m to support its primed adoptive cell transfer technology platform. While at Torque, Thomas led several cellular immunotherapy programs from early stage discovery, CMC scaling through to clinical development. Thomas is a serial entrepreneur, having founded several US and EU life-science companies including Torque Therapeutics, Nanovi A/S, and Monta Biosciences. His company creation track record spans early discovery through clinical development to commercial, and maps across immune and cellular therapy approaches in oncology. Thomas sits on several boards/advisory boards including Tidal Therapeutics (acquired by Sanofi), Monta Biosciences, and Nanovi.

His scientific background is in biomedical and biological engineering. His impact in academia recently culminated in establishing the Institute of Health Technology at the Technical University of Denmark with a patient-focused mission to innovate life changing health technologies. The Institute hosts over 500 researchers, and Thomas maintains a professorial position in drug engineering at the institute. He has co-authored over 200 research articles, is named on 45 patent applications and has received multiple research prizes including the Elite Research Price from the Danish Ministry of Science.

Phil Ferneau

Director

Phil co-founded Borealis Ventures in 2002 and has led the firm’s healthcare investing from its inception. He currently leads Borealis’ investments in Adimab, Amagma, Avitide, Compass Therapeutics, Evox Therapeutics, Orbit Discovery, Ovation.io, Teckro, and T-Cypher Bio. Phil's prior investments include Avedro (IPO, then acquired by Glaukos), GlycoFi (acquired by Merck & Co.), M2S (acquired by AIG Altaris Health Partners), and Vets First Choice (Nasdaq: CVET).

Phil has also spent over 20 years advancing innovation ecosystems at Dartmouth College and other universities. He is an adjunct professor at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, teaching venture capital topics.

Phil received an A.B. degree from Dartmouth College, a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and a M.B.A. (with High Distinction) from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Professor Graham Ogg

Director

Graham developed the bead display technology at the University of Oxford where he runs a laboratory investigating the role of T cells in disease and how such knowledge can be applied for patient benefit. He is Co-Founder and SAB Chair of T-Cypher Bio.

Claire Brown

Director

Claire joined Oxford Science Enterprises in May 2021. Prior to this she has had a varied career across the BioPharmaceutical industry from R&D strategy, licensing, business development and corporate investment, in the UK and US. Notable experience includes roles at UCB Group, Sanofi-Genzyme and AstraZeneca across a diverse range of therapy areas and modalities. Until joining Oxford Science Enterprises, Claire held the position of Investment Director at BioCity and has served on the board of a number of Life Science companies including Rinri Therapeutics, Kinomica, T -Cypher and Dark Blue Therapeutics. Claire received her BSc in Physiology and PhD in Pharmacology in Glasgow. She also holds an MBA focused on entrepreneurship as well as certificates in Investment Management (IMC) and Company Board Direction.

Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Graham Ogg

Graham developed the bead display technology at the University of Oxford where he runs a laboratory investigating the role of T cells in disease and how such knowledge can be applied for patient benefit. He is Co-Founder and SAB Chair of T-Cypher Bio.

Professor Tao Dong

Tao Dong has held the post of Professor of Immunology in the MRC Human Immunology Unit at Oxford University since 2014 and is a Senior Fellow at University College Oxford. She served as a member of the UK Medical Research Council Infection and Immunity board between 2016-2020. She is founding director of CAMS Oxford joint international Centre for Translational Immunology since 2013 and founding director (Oxford) of CAMS Oxford Institute based in Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University since 2019.
Tao originally gained a BSc degree in Physiology from Fudan University, Shanghai, China in 1987. She moved to Oxford University in 1993 where she received a DPhil degree in Immunology in 1998 for work carried out under the supervision of Professors Sarah Rowland-Jones and Sir Andrew McMichael on qualitative changes in HIV-specific cytotoxic T cells associated with HIV disease progression. During her postdoctoral training, where she continued to study immune responses to HIV, she expanded her research interests to include work on influenza virus infection, which led her to start her own independent research group. In 2010 she became the Head of the human anti-viral and anti-cancer cytotoxic T cell laboratory and subsequently Program Leader in the MRC Human Immunology Unit at Oxford University. Since 2013, her research has expanded to cancer, with a central goal being to identify determinants of the ability of human tumour-specific cytotoxic T cells to control human tumour development and metastasis. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tao’s team has been working with colleagues in Oxford, UK and in China, testing samples taken from SARS-Cov-2 positive patients and trying to understand why some people with a COVID-19 infection are able to fight it off successfully, while others get really ill.

Sir Andrew McMichael

Andrew McMichael has worked on T cell immune responses to virus infections in humans since 1977. He was first to demonstrate virus specific HLA restricted T cells in humans and later identified the first peptide epitopes presented by HLA class I molecules. His group were then first to show that HIV could escape T cell responses by mutating peptide epitopes so that their presentation by HLA molecules was altered. He and others have since showed that this is a major feature of T cell responses to HIV. Differences in how viruses can tolerate escape mutations, differing in people with different HLA types, can explain why certain HLA types are associated with better immune control. He has been a pioneer in development of HIV vaccine strategies that include stimulation of T cell responses and has been helped conduct several clinical studies and trials.

He and colleagues were first to show in 1998 that the non-classical non-polymorphic HLA class I molecule HLA-E presented a particular signal peptide to the natural killer cell receptor NKG2-CD94. Recently, it has been found that certain pathogens stimulate T cell responses restricted by HLA-E and his group have explored and explained how HLA-E can bind low affinity peptides to stimulate protective T cell responses. He has shown this to be the case in HIV and also SARS-CoV-2 infection. He has showed that such T cell responses are favoured when the processing of the signal peptide, which binds with higher affinity, is blocked. This opens up the possibility of universal immunotherapies targeting HLA-E with pathogen, self and cancer peptides, that he and his group are actively exploring.

Professor Fiona Powrie

Professor Fiona Powrie is Director of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Governor of the Wellcome Trust. She gained a PhD in immunology at the University of Oxford and then moved to the DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, before returning to Oxford in 1996 as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. Prior to her appointment to the Kennedy Institute, Fiona Powrie was the Sidney Truelove Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of the Translational Gastroenterology Unit, Oxford (2009- 2014). Her research examines the relationship between the intestinal microbiome and the host immune system and how this mutualistic relationship breaks down in inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and cancer. She has received numerous prestigious prizes and awards, including the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2012 and was elected an international member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2020.

PHOTO CREDIT THOMAS S. G. FARNETTI WELLCOME

Dr Nicola Ternette

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nicola Ternette trained in Physics and Biochemistry at the Universities of Bonn, Greifswald and Bochum in Germany. She pursued her post-graduate studies in developing and evaluating DNA vaccines for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) at the Institute for Molecular and Medical Virology in Bochum in the laboratory of Professor Klaus Überla. Following her PhD, she specialized in sequencing of HLA-associated peptidomes using nanoflow ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS) at the University of Oxford with the focus on identification of viral antigens for the development of T cell vaccines. Since 2015, she is heading the Antigen Discovery Group at Oxford. Her group has expanded their expertise to deep sequencing of immunopeptidomes in multiple pathogen infection models, analysis of the antigenic landscape of solid tumours and haematological cancers and characterisation of antigens involved in autoimmune diseases. Her team is interested in understanding of the consequences of interference with the antigen presentation machinery on MHC presentation, and to interrogate the effect of tumour irradiation on the MHC presentation pathway. The group is further refining existing approaches to understand disease association with the MHC gene locus and are developing novel bioinformatics approaches to MS spectral interpretation for tumour-specific (neo)antigen discovery.

Dr Cassian Yee

Cassian completed his medical degree in Canada, followed by an internal medicine residency at Stanford before going on to an oncology fellowship at the University of Washington. Following this, Cassian reached the position of Professor at the University of Washington and Full Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre. Cassian’s research over the last 20 years has been focused on developing immune-based therapies for the treatment of patients with cancer. He is a pioneer in adoptive cell transfer (ACT). This involves the isolation of rare tumour antigen-specific T cells from the peripheral blood, manipulation of immune modulating factors to enhance their effector function and in vivo persistence and, expansion to numbers sufficient for adoptive transfer.

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