Spotlight

UCL shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award

UCL has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award.

The Award, which is sponsored by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship Education, seeks to recognise an institution which has developed an unparalleled environment for fostering enterprise throughout its staff and students and delivered significant impact in its local community, across the UK and overseas.

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UCL spin-out Spirogen sold to AstraZeneca for $200 million

22 October 2013

Spirogen, a biotechnology company spun-out of UCL by UCL Business in 2001, has been sold to AstraZeneca.

The company – which develops novel therapeutics to target cancers – was sold to AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit for an initial $200 million, with a payment of a further $200 million should Spirogen meet development targets. The funds will be used to bolster the company’s oncology pipeline.

In particular, Spirogen focuses on antibody-drug conjugate technology; technology which has the potential to directly target cancer tumours while leaving healthy cells intact.

"The cutting-edge technologies developed by Spirogen and ADC Therapeutics complement MedImmune's innovative antibody engineering capabilities, enabling us to accelerate antibody-drug conjugates into the clinic," said MedImmune Executive Vice President Bahija Jallal.

Spirogen CEO Dr Chris Martin said: “This deal reflects the very significant progress made by our scientists, most notably over the last two years, as we have applied our warhead and linker technologies to the development of highly potent and specific ADCs.

“We believe that PBD-armed antibody-drug conjugates will emerge as a critical component in the next generation of cancer biologics with the potential to make a difference for oncologists and their patients. We look forward to combining our world class capabilities in this area with MedImmune’s ability to develop this exciting class of oncology drugs.”