Drugs that are designed to spark cancer neoantigen creation and subsequently stimulate the immune system can improve outcomes for patients who do not benefit from the current generation of cancer immunotherapies.
We create novel small molecule immuno‑oncology therapeutics
Our compounds target components of the MMR pathway that have been validated in both clinical and preclinical studies. These components are known to modulate neoantigen creation and diversity across numerous cancers.
Clinicians commonly observe powerful and sustained immune responses for certain cancers that lack the DNA mismatch repair (‘MMR’) genes targeted by our approach.
Chronic MMR loss elicits increased expression of cancer neoantigens, and patients with MMR deficiency respond well when treated with cancer immunotherapies, specifically checkpoint inhibitors ('CPIs').
Recently, the CPIs Keytruda and Opdivo have been approved for use in solid tumours that are deficient in MMR. This landmark event is the first time the FDA has approved a cancer treatment based on a common biomarker regardless of tumour etiology. It also represents strong clinical validation of NeoPhore's drug discovery strategy.
Research by NeoPhore’s scientific founders (Professor Alberto Bardelli and Assistant Professor Giovanni Germano) further supports our therapeutic approach; loss of certain MMR genes in preclinical models elicits continuous neoantigen generation in cancer cells, which in turn drives cancer immunity (Nature, 29 November 2017).
NeoPhore is pursuing novel and innovative approaches that build upon the well-established links between MMR function and clinical efficacy. Few mechanisms are as fundamental to cancer immunity, or are as well-proven by both pre-clinical and clinical studies.Discover our Science
Neophore is altering the tumour genotype to elicit immunological responses
– no-one else is doing this
Luis A. Diaz Jr., MD
NeoPhore was launched in November 2017 with a total investment of £6M by Sixth Element Capital LLP and benefitted from a £1M Innovate UK BioMedical Catalyst Award. In 2021, NeoPhore raised an additional £15.2M in a Series B round led by Claris Ventures. 2Invest AG, 3B Future Health Fund, Astellas Venture Management and Sixth Element Capital LLP also participated in the round.