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Kymab research and development facility opens in Cambridge

19 January 2011

The Cambridge research and development facility of Kymab, a biopharmaceutical company developing a next-generation human-mouse therapeutic antibody platform, was formally opened yesterday by Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, and Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society.

Kymab is developing its Kymouse™ technology, which it will use to discover novel monoclonal-antibody-based medicines, at laboratories on the Babraham Research Campus. In its engineered chromosomes, the Kymouse™ will capture the entire diversity of the B lymphocyte, a type of cell that has a large role in the human immune system.

Kymab plans to commence its therapeutic antibody drug discovery programmes using the Kymouse™ technology during 2011. The company will initiate research programmes to address a broad range of disease targets in partnership with academic organisations and pharmaceutical companies.

Kymab was founded by Professor Allan Bradley, FRS, Director Emeritus of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, with a £20 million investment by the Wellcome Trust. Professor Bradley is a world leader in genome engineering using embryonic stem cells.

Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "We are pleased with the progress that Kymab has made since its formation last year, and are proud to have provided technology and resources to build a substantial biopharmaceutical business focused on areas of unmet clinical need."

Andrew Sandham, Chairman and CEO of Kymab, said: "We are delighted to have our state-of-the-art facilities opened by Sir Paul and Sir Mark and are excited about advancing our research from Kymouse™ platform development to drug discovery during the year ahead."

Kymab also announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board. Professor Terence Rabbitts, FRS, chairs the Board, which also includes Professor Douglas Fearon, FRS, and Professor Bradley, FRS. Volker Germaschewski, Jasper Clube and Mark Strivens will lead its antibody discovery, intellectual property and bioinformatics functions.

Kymab was founded in 2009 based on research in the field of human immunology and mouse biology at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the laboratory of Professor Allan Bradley. The company is using embryonic stem cell technology to develop its Kymouse™ platform, which has the potential for expansion of diversity beyond normal human immune response. The Kymouse™ will be used by Kymab for the discovery, development and commercialisation of antibody-based medicines.

Image (L-R): Andy Sandham, Sir Mark Walport, Allan Bradley and Sir Paul Nurse.

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