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Iclectus to develop intrabody and masked antisense based drugs to treat cancer

BTG : 02 October, 2006  (Company News)
BTG, the global technology commercialisation company, today announced an investment in Iclectus Limited, a new biotechnology company that will focus on developing intrabody and masked antisense molecules as therapies for the treatment of cancer, and as tools for validating new drug targets produced, for example, by the sequencing of the human genome.
Founded by Drs Terence Rabbitts and Martin Stocks, and the Medical Research Council, Iclectus is based upon novel technologies developed in the laboratory of Dr Rabbitts at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. The company has access to an extensive portfolio of technology and target-based intellectual property exclusively licensed or optioned to the company through MRC-Technology, the Technology transfer arm of the MRC. Ongoing collaboration with the MRC will ensure that new ideas continue to be channelled into the company.

Anthony Lando, Chief Operating Officer of BTG, commented: “Our investment in Iclectus demonstrates BTG’s commitment to working with quality partners to build companies with the potential to make a significant contribution to the understanding of major diseases and the development of novel therapeutics.”

Commensurate with the closing of the financing, Dr Paul McCubbin of BTG’s ventures team was appointed to the Iclectus board of directors.

“We believe that Iclectus’ ability to specifically target disease-causing entities within the cell will make a major contribution to the development of new therapies over the next decade, in areas where they are most needed,” commented Dr Stocks, who will lead the R&D effort at Iclectus as Chief Scientific Officer. He added: “We have a set of cutting edge technologies which will put us at the forefront of such developments, and in BTG we have not just an investor but a valuable partner in the building of a world-class biotechnology company.”

Dr Rabbitts, who will be a director of the company and will chair its Scientific Advisory Board, said: “Iclectus is a further example of commercial exploitation by MRC of new discoveries emerging from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. The company will be able to exploit novel, high throughput technologies to rapidly generate molecules for disease therapy.”
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