Florey biotech spin-out secures seed investment from Curie.Bio

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Key points

  • An innovative drug discovery platform invented by Florey researchers has attracted seed investment from US venture capital. 
  • In partnership with Curie.Bio, Alkira Bio aims to identify antibodies with therapeutic potential.   
  • Professor Trevor Kilpatrick said this was a ‘watershed moment’ for spin-outs at The Florey.
  • Banner image above shoes how the LASEREDD® platform delivers antibodies (light blue) that can bind and drug complex membrane proteins, such as G protein-coupled receptors or GPCRs (purple), in novel ways that enable the discovery of new therapeutics for a wide range of diseases.

Melbourne-based Alkira Bio, a novel drug discovery platform company, announces seed investment from Curie.Bio 

Alkira Bio uses its proprietary LASEREDD® technology platform to discover therapeutic antibodies directed against previously out of reach targets, pioneering new possibilities for drug discovery.  

The seed financing from Curie.Bio recognises Alkira Bio’s advanced understanding in targeting complex membrane proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and the unique capability and potential of the platform.  

Florey researcher turned Alkira Bio’s Chief Executive Officer, Associate Professor Daniel Scott, has studied GPCRs for over two decades to understand how they can be better targeted for drug discovery. 

Developing therapeutic antibodies that target specific GPCRs has huge potential for creating safe, effective therapeutics to treat conditions with a high unmet medical need.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Curie.Bio, who recognise the potential of our technology to deliver new therapeutics unlike any existing drug,” Associate Professor Scott said.  

 

Florey Associate Professor Daniel Scott

Curie.Bio’s team of drug hunters and drug makers will co-pilot the drug discovery program, with their model designed to help founders reach value-creating milestones in a rapid and capital efficient manner so that founders retain the economic upside in their companies.  

Florey researcher and Alkira Bio’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Chris Draper-Joyce, welcomes the seed investment and partnership.  

“The investment from Curie.Bio will enable us to leverage our antibody discovery platform to tackle important diseases,” said Dr Draper-Joyce. 

Our ultimate goal is to discover medications that have the potential to transform patient lives, and the Curie.Bio team is the right partner to co-pilot this drug discovery journey.

Dr Christopher Draper-JoyceDirector of The Florey, Professor Trevor Kilpatrick, added that this was a watershed moment for spin-outs at The Florey. 

“A vital part of bringing important research to global markets is looking at how we commercialise it, and to do that researchers have to think like founders. It’s not always easy, but The Florey has looked to support Alkira Bio at every step to do that,” said Prof Kilpatrick.  

“Now we can look forward to seeing our science having a positive impact on patients in need of new, improved treatments.” 

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