Alchemab identifies naturally occurring protective antibodies that counter complex diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, by mining the antibody repertoires of individuals who are resistant to or recovered from disease.
Alchemab’s approach was developed with support from scientific founders at Oxford University, Johns Hopkins University and Mount Sinai Hospital.
The company’s approach starts by identifying groups of resilient individuals, such as long-term survivors of cancer or people with slow-to-progress neurodegenerative disorders. Their antibody repertoires are then deeply sequenced, resulting in billions of antibody sequences that are feed into the company’s computational drug discovery engine.
Using advanced analytical tools, groups of functionally related protective antibodies that are convergent across the resilient population only are identified. Convergent antibodies are then selected to enter a suite of phenotypic assays that identify the antibodies with the best therapeutic properties. These antibodies are also tested on whole human peptidome arrays to identify their targets.
This discovery process is therefore able to find novel drug targets and naturally-optimised therapeutic antibodies.
Alchemab’s initial focus is the development of novel therapeutics for cancer, neurodegenerative conditions and infectious diseases, and it currently has several programs at the preclinical stage. Founded in 2019, the company raised £60 million ($82 million) in funding in early 2021 to advance lead programs in neurodegeneration and cancer.