Macomics has been included in PwC Future 50 list. You can read the report here.
Edinburgh and Cambridge, UK, 19 October 2023 – Macomics Ltd, a leader in macrophage drug discovery, announces that it has appointed Kevin Lee Ph.D., MBA at Independent Non-Executive Director.
Based in the UK and CEO of Cambridge, UK/Cambridge, US based, Bicycle Therapeutics (NASDAQ: BCYC), Kevin brings two decades of biotech and pharma experience to Macomics. In addition to his seat on Bicycle’s board of directors, he is also a non-executive director of Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd.
Kevin has led Bicycle Therapeutics since 2015, steering it through its strategic growth including various collaborations and financings including through its listing on NASDAQ in 2019. He joined Bicycle from from Pfizer, where he served as senior vice president and CSO of the Rare Disease Research Unit. In that role, he held responsibility for more than 20 novel programs across the full spectrum of research and development, established Pfizer’s rare disease strategy, conceptualized and implemented the company’s gene therapy strategy with the creation of the Genetic Medicine Institute and founded the Rare Disease Research Consortium. Prior to joining Pfizer, Kevin worked at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and, in addition to leading the formation of multiple strategic commercial and academic partnerships, he led epigenetics research and was responsible for the creation of the EpiNova Discovery Performance Unit. Before joining GSK, he lectured at Warwick University Medical School and founded Cambridge Biotechnology (acquired by Biovitrum) and Neurosolutions.
Kevin studied pharmaceutical sciences at Nottingham University, followed by a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Cambridge University. He undertook postdoctoral training as a Wellcome Trust International Prize Fellow before joining the Parke Davis Research Unit in Cambridge, U.K. An author on over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, he has an MBA from Warwick Business School and has been awarded an honorary Chair in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of Warwick.
Macomics is exploiting the potential of macrophage-targeted approaches to develop first-in-class medicines to address disease of high unmet medical need. The company’s ENIGMAC macrophage drug discovery platform allows access to previously hidden disease specific macrophage targets: It integrates large volume human data sets, next generation human macrophage cell models, and proprietary macrophage genome editing capability to discover novel targets, unlock new disease biology, and de-risk clinical translation. Macrophages are key to multiple diseases of high unmet medical need, including as key mediators of solid tumour immunosuppression and pathological inflammation in chronic inflammatory disorders.
Kevin Lee, Macomics Board Director said, “Macomics is shaping up as an exciting emerging UK biotech with a powerful macrophage platform and drug discovery approach that is already demonstrating its potential to identify commercially exciting targets and validate antibody drug candidates. The company is at an exciting stage of its development, and I look forward to working with the Board and the Macomics team to help it deliver on its potential.”
Stephen Myatt, CEO of Macomics said, “I am delighted to welcome Kevin to our Board. His experience in building Bicycle Therapeutics and previously in his pharma roles will be extremely valuable in helping us to exploit our platform and advance our portfolio towards clinical development. I look forward to work closely with Kevin to bring next generation macrophage targeting therapeutics to cancer patients.”
Edinburgh and Cambridge, UK, 29 September 2023 – Macomics Ltd, a leader in macrophage drug discovery, continues its growth trajectory with expansion in Edinburgh into dedicated facilities within the Roslin Innovation Centre. The company has also announced the appointment of Professor Paul Crocker FRSE, Emeritus Professor of Glycoimmunology, University of Dundee to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
Macomics’ operations are located in Edinburgh and Cambridge, two major hubs of life science research in the UK with R&D teams split 50:50 across both sites. To accommodate expansion and to be co-located in an entrepreneurial centre of scientific excellence, Macomics has recently moved to dedicated laboratories in the Roslin Innovation Centre. The new facilities are 50% larger than its founding base at Edinburgh University.
“The Roslin Innovation Centre Easter Bush Campus provides a dynamic and vibrant working environment with world-class facilities equipped with the latest technologies” Stephen Myatt, CEO of Macomics.
Macomics, the brainchild of world-recognised experts in macrophage biology, the late Prof Jefferey Pollard and Macomics VP immunology and co-founder, Dr Luca Cassetta, is exploiting the potential of macrophage-based approaches to develop novel precision medicines to target disease specific macrophage biology. Whilst it is the only human drug discovery company at the incubator, other companies exploiting macrophage biology for animal health provide for productive scientific exchange.
Macomics’ ENIGMAC macrophage drug discovery platform integrates large volume human data sets, custom cell models, and proprietary human macrophage genome editing capability to discover novel targets and unlock disease specific target biology. Macrophages (TAMs) are often the most abundant immune cell many types of cancer and modulating TAMs can enhance the body’s ability to fight cancer.
Maximising on local expertise and connections, Professor Paul Crocker FRSE, Emeritus Professor of Glycoimmunology, University of Dundee has joined Macomics’ SAB. Prof. Crocker is a recognised expert in understanding how immune cells utilise host glycans to regulate immune and inflammatory responses and translating this to human disease.
Dr Luca Cassetta, VP immunology and co-founder of Macomics said, “It is a pleasure to welcome Paul to our SAB, having been local academic colleagues over many years. Our SAB is very International but having Paul’s expertise on our doorstep in Scotland and his knowledge of glycoimmunology and immune and inflammatory responses adds important expertise as we advance our macrophage targeting drug discovery programmes.”
Edinburgh and Cambridge, UK, 25 September 2023 – Macomics Ltd, a leader in macrophage drug discovery, is delighted to announce that it has launched the Macomics Hyper-Triathlon Challenge, in honour of its co-founder Prof. Jeffrey Pollard, who passed away earlier this year, to raise funds for the newly established Jeff Pollard’s memorial fund.
The new charitable fund, managed by the University of Edinburgh where Prof. Pollard was Director of the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, will be used to organise scientific meetings focused on macrophage biology, and to fund travel and enrichment grants aimed at early career researchers.
Macomics was founded on the breakthrough research of Prof. Pollard and Dr. Luca Cassetta, from the University of Edinburgh, to develop cancer therapeutics against novel targets on macrophages.
Dr Luca Cassetta, VP of Immunology, and co-founder of Macomics said, “To celebrate Jeff’s achievements as a world leader in macrophage biology and a mentor, and to commemorate his impact on our company, Macomics team decided to help raise money for the newly established Jeff Pollard’s memorial fund.”
Macomics has two laboratories, one located in Roslin Innovation Centre, near Edinburgh and the other on Cambridge Science Park.
“Although our two sites are separated by 460km in a straight line, we are one team working for the benefit of cancer patients. To prove that this distance is not a barrier, the Macomics Hyper-Triathlon Challenge will consist of 46km of swimming, 460km of running/walking, and 4600km of cycling over the slightly more than 4 months period” explained Cassetta.
As well as linking Macomics’ staff on two sites, the challenge reflects the company’s goal to connect macrophage biology from cancer research to cancer treatments. with cancer: the challenge started on September 24th, which was World Cancer Research Day and finishes on February 4th, World Cancer Day.
To donate go to The Jeffrey W Pollard Memorial Fund | The University of Edinburgh, mentioning Macomics in your donation.
Edinburgh and Cambridge, UK, 7 July 2023 – Macomics Ltd, a leader in macrophage drug discovery, is delighted to announce that it was voted as the winner of the 2023 BioNewsRound Award for the news of its worldwide drug discovery collaboration agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. to develop new immuno-oncology antibody drugs against a novel macrophage target of interest in cancer, announced in March.
The Award, organised by leading trade association One Nucleus, seeks to celebrate life sciences successes from the past year. Specifically, this translational award, organised as part of the On Helix conference in Cambridge, recognises companies that demonstrated success in advancing their programme along the innovation pipeline, be that a new therapeutic, diagnostic or enabling technology.
The Ono collaboration is Macomics’ first pharma collaboration under which Macomics will identify and characterise antibody candidates against the novel target of interest using its ENIGMAC macrophage drug discovery platform. Ono will have an exclusive option to license global rights to the candidates for further development and commercialization. Macomics received an up-front payment and R&D funding and will receive success-based milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties based on global net sales.
Dr Tony Jones, CEO of One Nucleus and organiser of the BioNewsRound Award said, “In selecting the finalists we look for the impact of the news on the organisation’s development, the significance to the Life Sciences sector as a whole and the potential benefit to patients. Macomics scored highly against all of these criteria. The news of its deal with Ono validates both Macomics technology and capabilities and underlines the strength of UK life sciences innovation. It is great to see a UK company translating world-leading macrophage research from the University of Edinburgh into commercial success and I am delighted that it was chosen by its peers as the 2023 winner.”
Macomics is exploiting the potential of macrophage-based approaches to develop novel precision medicines to target disease-specific macrophage biology. Macomics’ ENIGMAC macrophage drug discovery platform integrates large-volume human data sets, custom cell models, and proprietary human macrophage genome editing capability to discover novel targets and unlock disease-specific target biology. Macrophages (TAMs) are often the most abundant immune cell in many types of cancer and modulating TAMs can enhance the body’s ability to fight cancer.
Stephen Myatt, CEO of Macomics said, “I am delighted Macomics has been voted as winner of this year’s award. This global collaboration with Ono is a testament to our strong program portfolio, and the unique enablement offered by our ENIGMAC discovery platform, and our world class R&D team. Ono is a leader in immuno-oncology and we are delighted to have a partner in Ono who brings the complementary skills necessary to succeed in this therapeutic area.”
About Macomics – www.macomics.com
Macomics Ltd is an immuno-oncology company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, developing precision medicines to modulate macrophages for the treatment of cancer. The company is progressing a diversified portfolio of therapies targeting disease-specific tumour-associated macrophages (‘TAMs’) towards the clinic. Its ENIGMACTM macrophage drug discovery platform enables the identification and validation of novel macrophage therapeutic targets and is based on its deep understanding of macrophage biology.
The company was co-founded in 2020 by Prof. Jeffrey Pollard and Dr. Luca Cassetta, University of Edinburgh, internationally recognised leaders in macrophage biology. It has R&D and office facilities in Edinburgh and Cambridge, UK and is backed by Epidarex Capital, Scottish Enterprise, LifeLink Ventures and Caribou Property Limited.
For further information please contact:
At the Company – Steve Myatt, CEO, Macomics E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media enquiries (for Macomics) – Sue Charles, Charles Consultants T: +44 (0)7968 726585 E: email@example.com
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend, Professor Jeff W. Pollard, on 1 May 2023.
Jeff, who died peacefully at home after struggling against cancer, was a Founder, Director, and adviser to Macomics Limited, and was passionate about developing novel therapies targeting tumour-associated macrophages.
Jeff was also a Professor of Resilience Biology in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Edinburgh, and for nearly a decade led the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Reproductive Health (CRH), as Director, (2013-2022).
Jeff leaves a huge legacy to the cancer research community and to the world of macrophage and reproductive biology.
Jeff Pollard graduated with a first-class special honours degree in Zoology from Sheffield University followed by a PhD at Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now CRUK) in London. He spent a post-doctoral period at Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto and thereafter, took a Faculty position at King’s College University of London. In 1988 he joined the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York where he worked for 24 years prior to moving to Edinburgh in 2013 as Director of the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health. At the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Professor Pollard was the Louis Goldstein Swann Chair in Women’s Health, Deputy Director of the NCI funded Cancer Center, and Director of the NIH funded Center for the Study of Reproductive Biology and Women’s Health.
Jeff performed research in women’s reproductive health for his entire career with a recent emphasis on the mechanisms of action of female sex steroid hormones in controlling cell proliferation and on the tumour microenvironment of breast cancer. In the former programme his lab sought to understand the mechanism of progesterone in negatively regulating oestrogen-induced uterine epithelial cell proliferation and in the preparation of the uterus for blastocyst implantation. In the latter programme, he pioneered studies on the role of macrophages and demonstrated that they promote tumour progression and malignancy. His work focused upon mechanisms behind these pro-tumoral actions of macrophages with a particular emphasis on metastatic disease.
Jeff was a member of the COST actions Mye-EUNITER and Mye-InfoBank, an European multi-centre initiative focused on identifying novel myeloid targets for cancer therapy.
Fellowships and awards
Jeff was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.
Jeff Pollard received several awards most notably the American Cancer Society “Medal of Honour for Basic Science Research” for his studies in tumour immunology (2010), Rothschild Yvette–Meynet Curie award (2009), the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2013 – 2018) and the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award (2013 – 2021).
With his devoted wife and lifelong partner Ooi Thye Chong he shared an enduring passion for Japanese art, food and wine.
Macomics Ltd, a leader in macrophage drug discovery has presented data demonstrating the power of its ENIGMAC™ macrophage drug discovery platform at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Annual Meeting, AACR 2023, April 14-19, Florida.
Macomics is exploiting the potential of macrophage-based approaches to develop novel precision medicines to target disease specific macrophage biology.
Macomics’ ENIGMAC™ drug discovery platform represents a unique tool for gene-to-function studies using human macrophages. It integrates large volume human data sets, custom cell models, and proprietary human macrophage genome editing capability to discover novel targets and unlock disease specific target biology. It is disease agnostic and can be integrated with a variety of disease-specific conditions and phenotypic readouts.
Macrophages are key players of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Most tumors are populated by macrophages and a rich infiltration of this myeloid cell is generally correlated with poor prognosis at the clinical level. Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) influence all the other cell types in the tumor by creating a pro-tumoral niche which favours cancer cells to proliferate and invade other organs.
Presenting the data at AACR, Dr Carola Reis, CSO of Macomics said
“Using ‘Omics’ techniques is fundamental to fully understand the extreme complexity of the TME and identify new targets. Whilst many datasets have been produced in recent years, they lack proper validation at the functional level. Our ENIGMAC™ discovery platform allows stringent bioinformatic analysis coupled with macrophage gene editing and subsequent functional analysis, to enable the identification of genetically validated macrophage therapeutic targets that informs the drug screening assay strategy.”
Data presented at AACR shows Macomics’s use of a human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) line to yield macrophages phenotypically and functionally very similar to human monocyte-derived macrophage (MDM), producing millions of macrophages per week for use in multiple high throughput assays. It also presented its proprietary toolbox that integrates gene Knock In (KI), Knock Out (KO) and Knock Down (KD) with high efficiency both at iPSC and macrophage level while maintaining expression/silencing during macrophage differentiation. KD can be performed using a pooled approach that enables screening by flow cytometry-based phenotypes at large scale.
Dr Steve Myatt, CEO of Macomics added
“We believe that TAMs reprogramming is a very effective strategy. By changing the phenotype of a high number of intratumoral TAM, we achieve not only the abrogation of their tumor-supporting functions but importantly also the increase of their tumor-killing properties. In this way, at Macomics, we plan to tip the balance and create a reprogramming domino effect which will influence other immune cells to mount an effective anti-tumor immune response.”
- Poster no. 2751: ENIGMAC™ discovery platform enables gene to function target validation for macrophage therapy.
Authors: Martha Lopez-Yrigoyen, Thomas W. Crozier, Helena Engman, Yuxin Cui, Moritz Haneklaus, Krzysztof B. Wicher, Steven Myatt, Jeffrey W Pollard, Luca Cassetta and Carola Ries (presenter)
Session Category: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics
Session Title: Innovative Assay Technologies
Session Date and Time: Monday Apr 17, 2023, 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
The poster will be posted on our website after it has been presented at AACR.
Macomics Ltd, a leader in macrophage drug discovery, announces that it has entered into a worldwide drug discovery collaboration agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan; President and CEO: Gyo Sagara; “Ono”) to develop new immuno-oncology antibody drugs against a novel macrophage target of interest in cancer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Macomics will identify and characterise antibody candidates against the novel target of interest using its ENIGMACTM macrophage drug discovery platform. Ono will have an exclusive option to license global rights to the candidates for further development and commercialization. Macomics will receive an up-front payment, R&D funding, and success-based milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties based on global net sales.
Macomics is exploiting the potential of macrophage-based approaches to develop novel precision medicines to target disease specific macrophage biology. Macomics’ ENIGMAC macrophage drug discovery platform integrates large volume human data sets, custom cell models, and proprietary human macrophage genome editing capability to discover novel targets and unlock disease specific target biology. Macrophages (TAMs) are often the most abundant immune cell many types of cancer and modulating TAMs can enhance the body’s ability to fight cancer.
Toichi Takino, Senior Executive Officer / Executive Director, Discovery & Research of Ono said:
“Targeting macrophages in immune-oncology is emerging as an exciting area with significant opportunity to deliver novel therapeutics to improve cancer outcomes and to change the lives of patients with cancer. Macomics has demonstrated the power of its macrophage platform and drug discovery approach and we are delighted to partner with them on taking this novel target discovery program forwards.”
Stephen Myatt, CEO of Macomics said:
“This global collaboration with Ono is testament to our strong program portfolio, and the unique enablement offered by our ENIGMAC discovery platform, and our world class R&D team. Ono is a leader in immuno-oncology and we are delighted to have a partner in Ono who brings the complementary skills necessary to succeed in this therapeutic area.”
The founding scientists behind Edinburgh-based Macomics, Dr Luca Cassetta and Professor Jeff Pollard who have led the field in understanding the role of macrophages in development, tissue repair and cancer, have authored a major Perspectives review in Nature Reviews Cancer¹, detailing the seminal discoveries in macrophage biology over the past 50 years revealing exciting future prospects for developing precision medicines to modulate macrophages for the treatment of cancer by targeting tumour associated macrophage (TAMs) in the tumour microenvironment (TME).
The TME is now recognized to be inundated with immune cells, of which TAMs are often the most abundant by cell number. TAMs were initially thought to be antitumoral, although some experiments suggested that they could enhance tumour cell growth. However, with the advent of new technologies, sophisticated mouse models and human clinical sample analysis, the roles of TAMs were revealed.
Clinical correlative data and a plethora of preclinical studies of cancers have now shown that both tumour-associated and metastasis-associated macrophages play an important role in promoting cancer.
Scientists are still in the process of understanding TAMs heterogeneity including the cellular interactions during tumour progression and in response to therapy, but Improved intravital imaging (IVI) capabilities in preclinical models and newer technologies such as spatial transcriptomics and multicolour multiplex immunofluorescence and mass spectrometry are enabling mapping at single-cell resolution in the TME cellular landscape.
As summarized in the review, myeloid targeting strategies are now in the clinic and show early signs of efficacy as mono and combination therapies.
“We are entering a golden era of discoveries, resulting in the manipulation of the TME, and in particular TAM biology, that will allow immunotherapy to be widely applicable to many if not all cancers”, conclude Dr Cassetta and Prof. Pollard, adding “Recent technological advances have enabled the decoding of TAM complexity in human tumours; such important steps will allow a more precise TAM targeting in the clinic. The next big challenge will be to apply these technologies on clinical samples coming from patients who failed previous cancer therapies to assess TAM evolution during cancer treatment resistance.”
Macomics is an immuno-oncology company set up to take forward these learnings and opportunities.
Prof. Pollard is a Principal Investigator at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health (MRC-CRH), University of Edinburgh. Formerly its Director, he has been investigating the roles of macrophages in development, tissue repair and cancer for almost 30 years. His group was the first to show that tumour-associated macrophages promote the progression of tumors to metastasis in part, through the establishment of a suppressive immune microenvironment that supports tumor cell survival. He is co-founder of and remains advisor to Macomics. Dr Cassetta previously worked with Prof. Pollard and is now VP immunology at Macomics, having left his role at the University of Edinburgh to join the company full time.
Modulating TAMs can alter the tumour microenvironment enhancing the body’s ability to fight cancer. The tumour microenvironment changes macrophage behaviour, and Macomics is exploiting disease-specific TAM biology to selectively target these immunosuppressive cells.
It has proprietary cell models and approaches for the genetic manipulation of macrophages that, when combined with novel cell functional assays and informatics, enables new target opportunities for specific therapeutic hypotheses to be revealed.
Macomics portfolio is diversified by the mechanism of action and is focussed on multi-hit biological hypothesis, modulating both TAM biology directly and the activity of the broader immune system, to re-invigorate immune responses against cancer cells. It will continue to expand its portfolio of validated targets in diseases where macrophages play a central role in aetiology, response to therapy, and patient outcomes.
Dr Steve Myatt, Macomics CEO said
“We have built a world-class team and made great progress based on the discoveries by our pre-eminent scientists in the field of macrophage biology whose unparalleled expertise guides our mission to discover new therapies that improve the long-term outcome for cancer patients. We are passionate about the therapeutic potential of targeting macrophages for the treatment of cancer. Our vision is to develop a new approach to targeting the immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment, that exploits disease-specific macrophage biology to harness the power of the entire immune system. Our diversified portfolio of antibody programs combined with our proprietary target identification approach and world-class team uniquely positions us to deliver on this vision.”
- Cassetta, L., Pollard, J.W. A timeline of tumour-associated macrophage biology. Nat Rev Cancer(2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41568-022-00547-1
Macomics Ltd, biotech company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, is proud to announce that its co-founder Prof. Jeffery Pollard PhD has been honoured with a place in Clarivate’s annual
Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list for the second year running.
Each year, Clarivate celebrates the world’s most influential researchers by identifying those who have been most frequently cited by their peers over the last decade. In 2022, fewer than 7,000, or about 0.1%, of the world’s researchers have earned this exclusive distinction, with the work of those selected spanning 21 research fields.
Prof. Pollard was recognized for his exceptional research influence and designated as part of this elite group for the second year in a row, following the output of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% of citations for field and year in the Web of Science citation index. The analysis was performed by bibliometric experts and data scientists at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate.
David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate, said:
“Our Highly Cited Researchers are those who have demonstrated significant and broad influence, reflected by multiple highly cited papers that are driving the future of their respective fields of science. Prof. Pollard is a great addition for his visionary research and contributions to the deep understanding of macrophage biology, having established himself as a pioneer in the space through his many years of work.”
Macomics is developing precision medicines to modulate macrophages for the treatment of cancer, based on the pioneering work of its founders Prof. Pollard and Dr Luca Cassetta. An internationally recognized leader in macrophage biology, Prof. Pollard now provides expert consultancy to the company and is Chair of its Scientific Advisory Board. This year, Prof. Pollard was also elected to the highly selective group Academia Europaea (the European Academy, AE) in recognition of his pioneering work in the field of macrophage biology.
Commenting on the achievement, Dr Steve Myatt, CEO of Macomics, said:
“The inclusion of Jeff in the Highly Cited Researchers list for the second-year running is great reflection of the progress that he has achieved in the macrophage field. His work, spanning more than 30 years, has provided the foundations not just for Macomics but also for the wider research field. The insights gained will be of huge benefit to patients in years to come, and to Macomics’ mission to become a leading immuno-oncology company by pioneering macrophage-based therapies for cancer.”
During 2022 Prof. Pollard was also elected to the Academia Europaea (the European Academy, AE) for his visionary and pioneering work in the field of macrophage biology.
Macomics is progressing a diversified portfolio of therapies targeting disease-specific tumour-associated macrophages (‘TAMs’) towards the clinic. Its target discovery platform enables the identification and validation of novel macrophage therapeutic targets and is based on its deep understanding of macrophage biology.
The full 2022 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary can be found online here.