This patient-centred approach will pioneer immunological, medical, surgical and computational technologies to generate selective therapies that eliminate cancer. The ultimate hope is to achieve long-term, high-quality disease-free survival for cancer patients.
Singula Bio was co-founded by Professors Ahmed Ahmed, the late Enzo Cerundolo and Enda McVeigh from Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health. Supported by Oxford University Innovation (OUI), the University’s research commercialisation company, the spin-out has secured generous seed-stage funding from the financial investors, IIU Nominees Ltd.
Profs Ahmed and Cerundolo were motivated and inspired to improve the gruelling experience of cancer treatments of their many patients (and laboratory funding from charities Ovarian Cancer Action and Cancer Research UK).
With an extensive background in cancer medicine, cancer immunology, cell and molecular biology and computational biology, they have been able to design patient-specific cancer cell therapies to harness the power of the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.
In a tumour, cancer cells carry mutations that appear foreign to a patient’s body and, therefore, their immune system reacts to these mutations. One strong form of an immune reaction is through generating mutation-specific cells called “T cells”.
Thanks to years of research and technology…we now know how to identify relevant tumour-specific T cells to grow them outside the body and deliver them back to patients to fight cancer cells
Professor Ahmed Ahmed
Prof Ahmed says, ‘A key feature of cancer cells is the preponderance of genetic aberrations in their DNA. These aberrations can make proteins appear foreign to our body’s immune system which then develops immune cells (T cells) to fight cancer cells. Thanks to years of research and technology development we now know how to identify relevant tumour-specific T cells to grow them outside the body and deliver them back to patients to fight cancer cells.’
The launch of Singula Bio is a bittersweet milestone, as tragically Professor Cerundolo passed away in before he could see this company realised. However, we are determined …to realise his vision that “Cancer Need not be Fatal” with Singula Bio
Professor Enda McVeigh
Prof McVeigh, who brings a wealth of experience in live-cell therapy to the spin out, adds, ‘The launch of Singula Bio is a bittersweet milestone for the team, as tragically Professor Cerundolo passed away in January 2020 before he could see this company realised. However, we are determined to keep his legacy going and to realise his vision that “Cancer Need not be Fatal” with Singula Bio.’
He adds, ‘What has excited me about this work is the immediate translational nature of it; the harnessing of the body’s own defence again cancer to bring a potential cure for a disease that otherwise would be fatal.’
Cary Wakefield, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Action, says, ‘Only 46% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK today will survive five years beyond their diagnosis. We are excited to be a part of this innovative venture which will help accelerate the development of more effective and individualised treatments so that the next generation of women survive ovarian cancer.’