Innovation & Enterprise


Gene therapy programme developed at UCL licensed to leading US healthcare investment firm

21 July 2020

UCL Business (UCLB) and Apollo Therapeutics have licensed a novel gene therapy programme to Deerfield Management Company, the first step in the therapy becoming a new medicine.

Apollo Therapeutics logo

Apollo Therapeutics is a collaboration between three UK universities and three pharmaceutical companies. Its aim is to identify and advance academic preclinical research that has the potential to be ‘translated’ to become new medicines for areas of high medical need. UCLB, part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise, is one of Apollo’s university partners.

As the first Apollo-supported project to be licensed, it marks a significant milestone. The project originated at UCL, a world leader in the field of rare disease gene therapy.

Dr Richard Fagan, Director of BioPharm, UCLB and member of Apollo’s Investment Committee, said: “Deerfield is one of the leading investors in life sciences and its backing is testament to the great work by UCL in rare diseases. We look forward to working closely with the Deerfield team to progress the programme into clinical studies.

“Deerfield’s investment is great validation of the Apollo joint venture business model, and demonstrates how UK institutions and research can attract financing and support from global firms. This deal also demonstrates how universities and industries can work together to mutual commercial benefit, which will be especially important as efforts are made to reboot the global economy.”

Read the full article on the UCL Business website.