We continue our review of the top TechTrends affecting our industry today. And this list could simply not be complete without a review of the Top 10 BioTech companies in the UK today. With almost every industry around us embracing the use of technology to prepare for tomorrow, the world of biology is no different. Technically (and that pun was intended), BioTechnology refers to, “the harnessesing of cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet.”
Yes, the who’s who of the Pharma world like GSK and AstraZeneca clearly lead the race in the use of biotech, but there is another group of smaller, growing businesses who are making their own mark in the Pharma and Healthcare worlds.
So, who are our top 10?
Catapult is a big name in the biotech circles in the UK – but it’s their Cell & Gene Therepeutics division which has captured the most attention (and funding), establishing them as a strong leader in the biotech space. Based on the 12th floor of Guy’s Hospital in central London with over 120 cell and gene therapy experts, state-of-the-art development and viral labs, they continue to expand with their latest project: a £55m large-scale GMP manufacturing centre to help bring cell and gene therapies to market in the UK and internationally. Their mission is to help cell and gene therapies be safer, more effective, scalable and affordable.
Silence Therapeutics aim is to channel gene silencing to cure disease and to target disease cells in order to revert them back to their healthy state. They say, “Our technology is a highly specific and modular platform that enables us to inhibit or ‘silence’ the expression of disease-causing genes, allowing cells to revert to their healthy state.”
DeskGen, short for Desktop Genetics, is another company harnessing technology to help the healthcare industry win in its fight against disease. Established in 2012, DeskGen was established to “help researchers discover and treat the root genetic causes of human disease”. Today, this organisation is well-known for it’s genome editing technology being driven by a strong team of genome editing experts, bioinformaticians and data scientists. Headquartered in London, the team also have an office in the US, Desktop Genetics’ tools and technologies are used by over 1800 organisations globally.
Autolus is a biotech business that is focused on the treatment of cancer patients with precise, controlled and highly active engineered T-cell therapies. They describe themselves as, “Autolus is a leader in cutting-edge T-cell therapies. Utilising advanced cell programming and manufacturing technologies, we have established a development-stage pipeline of products for the treatment of haematological malignancies and solid tumours.” As a privately held biopharmaceutical company, they are committed to bringing life-changing treatments to patients by reprogramming their own t-cells to more effectively combat cancer. At the end of September, Autolus announced that they’d secured US$80m in Series C Funding.
Stemming from Cambridgeshire, UK, Kesios Therapeutics is “a UK-based biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of multiple myeloma and other cancers where there are significant unmet medical needs.” Being focused on discovering and developing novel drug candidates for the treatment of multiple myeloma and other malignancies, Kesios is focused on developing drugs that target blood malignancies, colon cancer and other solid tumours. Backed by international funders, this small business is led by an experienced management team aiming to make huge strides in the fight against cancer.
“Cell Medica is committed to improving patients’ lives through the significant therapeutic potential of cellular immunotherapy. Our approach is to apply innovative technologies with the aim of improving the treatment of cancer and immune reconstitution following hematopoietic stem cell transplant”. The company is focused on making the widespread use of cellular immunotherapy in the fight against cancer, a reality, and they’re doing that through building a pipeline of naturally-occurring and gene-modified immune cell products. Collaborating with leading academic institutions, they remain focused on patient benefits as their number one success.
Bento Bio are doing something remarkably different. They are taking the genetics lab and making it accessible to professionals and non-professionals, curious makers, ambitious students, innovative artists and cutting-edge scientists. “Genetics and molecular biology are the fundamental technologies of life. They concern all of us. And yet, only a small number of experts have access to laboratories and specialist knowledge. This is a problem caused by equipment that is closed and expensive and hardware and software that is difficult to use. Instead, let us look at how movements like Arduino or Raspberry Pi are empowering citizens to co-create and be technology-literate. By building a diverse community around inclusive and accessible molecular biology, we want to enable professionals and non-professionals to engage with genetics in an open and responsible way.”
Adaptimmune are leading the space in T-cell therapy and has clinical trials ongoing for multiple proprietary SPEAR T-cells in solid tumor indications. Also running a program in partnership with GSK, Adaptimmune are focused on offering promise to cancer patients that have no other option through their SPEAR TCR therapies – a process whereby they harness the body’s own immune system to find and destroy diseased cells.
Evgen Pharma is a clinical stage drug development company whose lead programmes are in breast cancer and subarachnoid haemorrhage, a type of stroke. The company is carrying out preclinical work in multiple sclerosis and has a clinical interest in prostate cancer. Evgen Pharma’s objective is to become the leading company in the development of pharmaceuticals that activate the antioxidant response element, Nrf2.
Diurnal is a UK-based specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing high-quality hormone therapeutics to aid lifelong treatment for rare and chronic endocrine conditions, including Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Adrenal Insufficiency, Hypogonadism and Hypothyroidism.
The company has a strong, multi-skilled entrepreneurial management team with extensive pharmaceutical product development experience and an affiliated network of world-class clinical experts in the area of endocrinology.
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