Biotechnology Awards 2021

10 GHP / Biotechnology Awards 2021 , Jan21366 Antibody therapy has become a key weapon in the battle against cancer. Having achieved impressive success in GHP’s Biotechnology Awards, we take a look at the work that the teamat Medannex Ltd have done in this field, as they prepare for the first clinical trial of their innovative new drug, MDX-124. Leading Innovators in Immunotherapy Antibody Development - UK Based in Scotland, the team behind Medannex have committed themselves to finding new ways of treating cancers and autoimmune diseases. Those who have been impacted by these conditions find themselves in vital need of innovative treatments and that’s precisely what the team aim to deliver to the market. Since the company’s inception in 2009, the Medannex team have been researching therapeutic antibodies that target annexin-A1. This protein has a key function in the immune system and plays a significant role in the development of certain cancers and autoimmune diseases. By exploring ways to manipulate it, the team are confident that they can significantly improve treatment options for patients. This approach has led to the development of a new molecule, a therapeutic antibody called MDX-124. As with all new treatments, research into its viability and efficacy has been careful and painstaking. Non- clinical testing has shown the molecule to act in a unique way, reducing cancer cell growth by up to 76%, blocking the spread of cancer cells and activating immune cells to attack cancer cells directly. This extraordinary multi-faceted anti-cancer activity could revolutionise the treatment of certain cancers. Needless to say, there has been a lot of interest in where the team will go next and they have recently completed a Series B fundraise of £11 million, led by Boston-based Morningside Venture Capital. With additional support from Scottish Enterprise and Innovate UK, Medannex have been able to accelerate further studies in collaboration with leading experts from around the world. The work so far has seen partnerships with teams at University College London, the University of Glasgow and Anglia Ruskin University. MDX-124 has enormous potential to improve outcomes for people living with various medical conditions, and 2021 will see Medannex initiate their First-in-Human trial and generate the first clinical data for the molecule. With such a strong spirit of collaboration at the heart of the enterprise, and with partners based across the globe, the varying restrictions from country to country associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have posed significant challenges for Medannex. However, they have successfully taken steps wherever possible to minimise any disruption to the company’s development programme. By carefully restructuring the timing and management of key projects - and providing staff with all the equipment and support they need for remote working – the team have continued to achieve planned milestones. Through this carefully calculated process Medannex have been able to maintain good communication between staff, collaborators and stakeholders whilst avoiding the dreaded “zoom fatigue”. Morale remains high, and this helped the team to achieve all of their strategic goals last year, despite the challenges of the pandemic. While there has been a great deal of uncertainty across the UK, and the world as a whole, Medannex have performed remarkably to keep things going smoothly. The addition of remote-working and virtual meetings to the company’s repertoire are certain to remain for the foreseeable future, allowing Medannex to benefit from increased efficiency and flexibility. The success of Medannex is something to be celebrated, both on a business level and within the industry at large. As the team move forward into a new and exciting scientific field, we cannot wait to see what they achieve next. Company: Medannex Ltd Name: James Ingham (Operations Director) Web Address: