PRESS RELEASE – February 25, 2021
T-Cypher Bio separates from Orbit Discovery to build a pipeline of TCR therapeutics for solid tumours and other indications
Company has potential to unlock an expansive therapeutic target space by decoding natural T-cell responses in both oncology and autoimmune diseases.
Closed financing led by Oxford Sciences Innovation with participation from RT Ventures, Borealis Ventures, University of Oxford, and a private investor
Oxford, UK, 25 February 2021 – T-Cypher Bio (‘T-Cypher’, or ‘the Company’), a rapidly emerging private biotech company pioneering a novel approach to TCR therapeutics has launched today. Established in late 2020, T-Cypher has separated from Orbit Discovery (“Orbit”) to focus on developing a functional, high-throughput, bead-display platform to select therapeutically relevant targets and identify potent, target-specific TCRs for the treatment of solid tumours and other indications.
The formation of T-Cypher has been financed by Oxford Sciences Innovation (“OSI”) with participation from RT Ventures, Borealis Ventures, the University of Oxford, and a private investor. All investors were original Orbit investors. Over the past nine months, OSI has worked closely with co-founder, Graham Ogg and the Orbit team to aid in the formation of T-Cypher adding an experienced management team and leading advisers.
T-Cypher will use its proprietary bead-display microfluidic platform to investigate a broad target landscape identified through bespoke immunopeptidomics. The company will focus on identifying targets within new antigen classes that have not been explored with existing technologies. Its functional high-throughput approach allows the company to interrogate TCR-specificity without the need for laborious T cell cloning or soluble-TCR generation and will allow for the identification of a broad-range of therapeutically relevant antigen:TCR pairs.
Commenting on the development, Professor Graham Ogg, Co-founder and SAB Chair of T-Cypher and Professor of Dermatology at the University of Oxford, and Past Director of the MRC Human Immunology Unit, WIMM, said: “T-Cypher has the leading technology in the field for deconvoluting vast T cell repertoires, enabling development of the adaptive immune therapeutics of the future. Its innovative bead-based microfluidic platform enables high- throughput functionality testing of T cells directly from patients. I’m excited to be supporting the team in building an end-to-end business to establish a pipeline of TCR based products.”
Commenting on the formation of T-Cypher, Uciane Scarlett, PhD, Interim Executive Chair & OSI Investment Principal, said: “Working hand-in-hand with Graham we have built a specialised team that is aligned with the Company’s ambitious goals. Research within Orbit over the past few years allows T-Cypher to hit the ground running and immediately begin work to generate new TCR therapies in both oncology and non-oncology. We are delighted to work closely with T-Cypher in its formation and beyond. We’re very confident in the company’s future growth.”
Commenting on the challenges and benefits of T-Cypher, Dr Luke Williams, Interim Head of Research and Development, and OSI Scientist-in-Residence said: “T-Cypher’s approach overcomes many of the challenges that other companies have faced when selecting therapeutically relevant targets for immunotherapies. Our ability to identify a broad range of potential targets and use our platform to interrogate immune responses in patients of interest, will be a significant step forward in this rapidly growing sector. I’m excited to be working with such a strong team to develop the next generation of TCR-based treatments.”
The company will remain in stealth as it focuses on building out its platform and pipeline.
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For further information, please contact:
Consilium Strategic Communications
Uciane Scarlett, Interim Executive Chair Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber Fennell / Alexandra Harrison / Aaron Kelly
Phone: +44 (0)20 3709 5701
About T-Cypher Bio
T-Cypher Bio, a rapidly emerging biotechnology company headquartered in Oxford, UK, is pioneering a novel approach to develop next generation TCR therapeutics and utilise state of the art techniques to identify a broad-range of potential targets, for both solid tumours and other indications.
These techniques offer a vast library of candidate antigen peptides for recognition by T cells and the ability to test T cell functionality directly from patients without the need for T cell cloning, TCR generation or immortalised T cells.
Through harnessing the knowledge gained within Orbit Discovery, the Company is building a pipeline of game-changing treatments for patients, with the potential to save lives.
For more information please visit: https://tcypherbio.com/
Oxford Sciences Innovation is a leading science and technology business. OSI ensures Oxford’s world-leading science moves out of the laboratory and onto the global stage. In partnership with the University of Oxford, OSI creates fundamental technology companies, built on science. We match scientists with experienced entrepreneurs and patient capital to turn idea to impact, discovery to company. OSI invests in Life Sciences, Deep Tech, Healthtech, AI and Software to create companies taking on challenges like diagnosis and treatment of disease and cancer, hyper resolution microscopy, renewable energy, drones, nuclear fusion and quantum computing. Founded in 2015, we’ve raised over $800M of evergreen capital, building on Oxford’s renowned research legacy, to create a leading science and technology ecosystem and home for entrepreneurs.
OSI backs companies from their inception and invest for the long-term, helping them to build their businesses by finding senior management talent, entrepreneurs, expert advisors and global investors to realise their vision. OSI reinvests any returns back into the Oxford ecosystem and the next generation of scientists and technologies to create even more companies capable of tackling more of the world’s most important problems.
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About RT Ventures
Founded in 2016 RT Ventures is a leading investor in UK University spin-out companies, with a focus on life science and healthcare technology.
About Borealis Venture
Borealis Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm partnering closely with exceptional entrepreneurs since 2002 to build visionary healthcare companies. Borealis focuses on life science platforms, digital health, and animal health opportunities, often involving the translation of university-based innovation.
For more information, please visit: www.borealis.vc.
About The University of Oxford
The University of Oxford has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the fifth year running, and at the heart of this success is our ground- breaking research and innovation. Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions. Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the leading university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 200 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the past three years.