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UK: A new drug R&D powerhouse has been formed in the Cambridge


(Source: Business Weekly 2014-5-26)

Life science stablemates PolyTherics and Antitope, who joined forces last July, have now decided to create a new brand – Abzena – which will have its HQ at the Babraham Research Campus.

The companies will continue to trade as wholly owned subsidiaries of Abzena but executives believe the strengthened provision of technologies and services the new enterprise offers will facilitate better end results for the global biopharma community.

PolyTherics’ operations will move from London this summer to the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge, the current site of Antitopes operations. Abzenas headquarters and major operations will therefore be positioned at the heart of one of the worlds leading clusters for biopharmaceutical innovation.

It will also grow its operations on the Warwick University Science Park where it maintains a presence following the acquisition of Warwick Effect Polymers by PolyTherics in January 2012.

John Burt, CEO of Abzena, said: “We believe there is a real opportunity for the new company to capitalise on an increasing need for high quality outsourced early stage R & D capabilities and for Abzena to become a leading provider within this global industry.

“In PolyTherics and Antitope we have well established, respected brands and a broad range of complementary services and technologies. Our new company and identity will allow us to better communicate our full strengths and meet the significant demand we have seen from existing and new customers and partners.”

Abzena claims to operate a balanced business model that provides strong and growing revenues based on its service business and offers the potential for significant future growth through royalty bearing licences to its technologies.

Over the past decade, PolyTherics and Antitope have built a global customer base which includes the majority of the major, international pharmaceutical companies, large and small biotech companies and academic groups.

Abzena’s services and proprietary technologies include immunogenicity assessment, protein engineering to create humanised antibodies and deimmunised therapeutic proteins, manufacturing cell line development; and bioconjugation technologies for antibody drug conjugate development and novel polymers for enhancing the therapeutic properties of biopharmaceutical products.

Antitope founder Matt Baker, chief scientific officer of Abzena, said: “The formation of Abzena is an important next step in our strategy to become a leading provider of technologies and services which enable the successful development of biopharmaceuticals.

“While there will be no day-to-day changes for our existing customers and partners, we believe a new, combined identity provides a strong platform for further growth.”

The group has built a global customer base over the past decade, including the top 10 pharma, large and small biotech, and academic groups.

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