News

Macomics’ Co-founder Professor Jeffrey Pollard honoured in Highly Cited Researchers 2021

Macomics Ltd, an immuno-oncology company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, is proud to announce that its co-founder Prof. Jeffery Pollard PhD has been named on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2021 list from Clarivate.

Macomics’ co-founder Dr Luca Cassetta honoured with Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Award for Publication

Macomics Ltd, an immuno-oncology company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, is pleased to announce that its co-founder and Vice President Immunology, Dr Luca Cassetta has been honoured by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.

Macomics announces new hires that expands its macrophage-based drug discovery R&D Team

Macomics Ltd, an immuno-oncology company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, announces today that it has made five new appointments to its scientific team, to support and accelerate its R&D.

Macomics secures £4.24 million expansion financing

Macomics Limited, an immuno-oncology company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, announces today that it has closed a follow-on financing of £4.24 million from its 2020 Seed round, bringing the total amount raised to £7.44m.

Dr. Krzystof Wicher, to Chair sessions at the European Drug Discovery Strategic Summit

Macomics is pleased to announce that Dr. Krzystof Wicher, VP of Drug Discovery, will Chair sessions on Target Identification and Validation and Drug Design Strategies at the European Drug Discovery Strategic Summit.

Macomics appoints leading cancer immunologists to its advisory panel

Macomics has expanded its advisory team with the appointment of Prof. Michele De Palma and Dr. Jackie Doody, internationally renowned experts in the fields of immuno-oncology.

Macomics welcomes Founder, Prof. Jeffrey W. Pollard’s review article in leading journal Immunity

In a special edition of Immunity, focussed on the tumour immune microenvironment, Prof Pollard and Dr. Esra Güç publish an article entitled Redefining macrophage and neutrophil biology in the metastatic cascade.

Macomics Senior Scientist, Dr. Martha Lopez-Yrigoyen to Chair sessions at 2021 Tumour myeloid Microenvironment Directed Therapeutics Summit

Macomics is pleased to announce that Dr Lopez-Yrigoyen will Chair sessions at 2021 Tumour myeloid Microenvironment Directed Therapeutics Summit.

Macomics secures £3.2 million seed funding

Macomics Ltd, an immuno-oncology company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, launches today with a £3.2 million seed financing round led by transatlantic VC Epidarex Capital, with the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, also investing.

Sadie Kemp

Senior Research Technician

Sadie brings over 15 years of experience, gained in both commercial and academic laboratories. With a background in cell culture and cell infection assays, her expertise includes confocal microscopy, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, and molecular biology techniques.

Sadie joins from seven years at Napier University where she held technical roles of increasing responsibility. Prior to that gained significant experience at the University of Edinburgh and Moredun Scientific. During these roles, she has contributed to projects across a range of therapeutic areas including immunology, bacteriology, and cancer.

She has a BSC (Hons) in Natural Sciences from the Open University and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Conor Poland

Associate Scientist

Conor has experience in academic and industrial settings. He is a cell biologist experienced in working with induced pluripotent stem cells, immortalised cells, primary cell cultures, and fibroblasts from human skin samples.

He joins from Cignpost Diagnostics, a private Covid testing facility, where he established and ran its qPCR laboratories for COVID-19 testing during the recent pandemic. Prior to this, he completed his PhD at the University of Dundee at the Jacqui Wood Cancer centre, where he gained extensive experience with induced pluripotent stem cells and CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing among other molecular techniques. Prior to this, he gained experience at Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford and in the microbiology lab at Geneius Lab Ltd. He has a BSc (Hons) in Human Genetics from Newcastle University.

Chantell Payton

Associate Scientist

Chantell has extensive experience in tissue culture, cell line development and characterisation, confocal microscopy, and in vitro assay development.

Chantell joins Macomics from the world-leading Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, where she undertook a PhD investigating the acquisition and potential biomarkers of cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistance. She has a BSc (Hons) from the University of Lincoln where she undertook several research placements investigating protein expression in several cancer signalling pathways

Moritz Haneklaus

Senior Scientist

Moritz is a molecular immunologist with over 10 years of experience studying human myeloid biology. He has extensive expertise in applying molecular techniques and genomics to complex immunological questions.

He joins from an academic career, most recently as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Child Health, University College London studying brain tumour single-cell analysis. Prior to that, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge as part of the Open Targets consortium investigating neuroinflammation in the context of Alzheimer’s disease.

Moritz obtained his PhD in Immunology at Trinity College Dublin studying inflammatory signalling in macrophages. He has an MSc in BioMedicine from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and a BSc in Biology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Stephane Guillaume

Associate Scientist

As part of the drug discovery team Stephane is responsible for protein expression and characterisation, including the development of novel in vitro and cellular assays for antibody characterisation. Stephane has a BSc (Honours) in Microbiology and Immunology from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Australia, and subsequently undertook research on tissue-resident memory T cells and their role in cancer, gaining extensive experience in a variety of model systems. Stephane has been accepted to study for his PhD at the prestigious Babraham Institute, Cambridge UK, and we hope to have him back at Macomics when he will have completed his studies.

Dr Carmen Rodriguez-Seoane

Scientist

Carmen has over 10 years of research experience with expertise in the use of human and embryonic/induced pluripotent stem cell models and a wide range of molecular biology techniques.

Carmen joins from the University of Edinburgh where she was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Inflammation Research, having started as a Research Assistant. She moved to the UK after obtaining her PhD from the Brain Protein Malfunction Lab at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She has a M.Sc. in Biomedical Research and a B.Sc. in Biology.

Helena Engman

Associate Scientist

As part of the cell biology and immunology team, Helena is responsible for the maintenance, development, and characterisation of complex cellular models using specialised cell culture methods and a wide range of molecular biology techniques. Helena studied for her interdisciplinary PhD at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences and the School of Chemistry, Edinburgh University and has considerable experience in human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell lines, Raman spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, immunofluorescence, UV-vis spectroscopy and 3D apparatus design and printing. Previously, Helena received her BSc (Hons) in Human Embryology and Developmental Biology at the University of Aberdeen and undertook a research placement at the Barcelona Stem Cell Bank (BLCB).

Alicia Poindron

Research Scientist

As part of the drug discovery team, Alicia is responsible for the development of protein production, purification, and antibody characterisation using in vitro and Flow Cytometry assays. Alicia has broad expertise in early-stage protein purification methods, as well as large-scale downstream processes and optimisation for monoclonal antibody GMP production. Alicia has the extensive biotech experience, previously at Kymab Ltd, first as a Research Associate and later as Research Scientist, and at Novasep. Alicia received a technical degree at the Lycée technique Galilée, a Bachelor of Science from the Pierre and Marie Curie University, and a Master of Science from Polytech Marseille, Aix-Marseille University, France.

Dr Carola Ries

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr Ries has over 20 years of immunology and drug discovery experience and is an internationally recognised expert in macrophage immunology. She formally led Roche’s innate immunity department in cancer immunotherapy and was a member of the pRED immunotherapy discovery leadership team. Dr Ries led the discovery of emactuzumab (CSF1R program) and contributed to its clinical translation, identifying a clinical population in which emactuzumab provided significant clinical benefit. Earlier in her career Dr Ries was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. McCormick at UCSF, where she discovered her passion for oncology. Dr Ries has over 35 publications and is named an inventor on over 10 patents.

Dr Jane Dancer

Non-Executive Director

Dr Dancer has over 30 years’ experience in Business Development across biotech, pharma and agrochemicals. She was Chief Business Officer at F-star, VP Business Development at Cellzome and Director, Business Development at MedImmune Ltd (formerly Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT)).  Jane spent the first part of her career in the agrochemical industry where she held research and project management roles in Aventis Crop Science, AgrEvo UK Ltd and Schering Agrochemicals Ltd.

Jane has an MBA from The Judge Institute of Management Studies, University of Cambridge and a PhD and a first degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK. Jane is on the board of Spirea, PharmEnable and Chair of the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust.

Dr Elizabeth Roper

Investor Director

Dr Roper joined Epidarex as a Partner in 2013. She has more than 20 years of experience in the life science and healthcare industry, either as a venture investor or an operating executive. She has held senior operation roles and held various directorships including Chair.  She focuses on shaping and building early-stage life science opportunities into successful companies and investments.

Prior to joining Epidarex, Liz was Head of Business Development and part of the management team at Chroma Therapeutics Ltd., where she led the establishment of several major company-building alliances including a multi‐target deal with GlaxoSmithKline. Liz is a former executive with the life science venture capital team at the Investments Division of The Wellcome Trust. She is also a former member of the Life Science team at Atlas Ventures, London.

Liz currently serves on the Boards of Directors of AdoRx Ltd (Chair), Nodthera Ltd., Mironid Ltd., Caldan Therapeutics Ltd., Epidarex Exeed (Chair), EM Imaging Ltd, Macomics Ltd. and Dunad Therapeutics Ltd.

Liz holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biochemistry (1st class) from the University College Cork, and a PhD from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

Dr John Haurum, M.D., D.Phil

Advisor

Dr Haurum has over 20 years of industrial experience. Dr Haurum is the ex-CEO of F-star, where he built successful biotech with clinical-stage oncology assets and ex-VP of Research at ImClone and earlier a CSO at Symphogen.

Prof. Michele De Palma

Advisor

Prof. Michele De Palma, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), leads research into tumour microenvironment including tumour associated macrophages, tumour angiogenesis and immunotherapies. His previous work has led to the first-in-kind clinical trials of engineered monocytes in patients with brain and haematological cancers

Dr Jacqueline Doody

Advisor

Dr Jacqueline Doody has over 30 years of industry experience and is ex-VP of Immuno-oncology at F-star working on bispecific antibody therapies targeting T cells. Dr Doody headed the Immunology department at ImClone taking antibody programs to the clinical stage, including the macrophage program on CSF-1R.

Prof. Karin de Visser

Advisor

Prof. Karin de Visser, Netherlands Cancer Institute, studies the impact of the immune system on metastatic breast cancer and therapy response and is working on novel immunomodulatory strategies to fight metastatic breast cancer.

Dr Maikel Fransen

Senior Scientist

Maikel Fransen has over twenty years of experience in R&D in the biotech and pharma sectors (Acambis, GSK, Isogenica, Ossianix). He obtained his PhD at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK; prior to moving to industry, he worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK.

A biochemist by formation, Maikel has gained extensive expertise in early-stage immuno-oncology projects, with a focus on membrane protein biochemistry and antibody drug discovery, using various biophysical, structural biology, and phenotypic assay techniques.

Currently, he is responsible for the design and execution of hit to lead in-vitro screening of biologics to support the drug discovery program at Macomics. Maikel is passionate about his research and his vision is to deliver pioneering best-in-class antibody treatments specifically targeting macrophages in the solid tumour micro-environment.

Dr Martha López Yrigoyen

Senior Scientist

Martha Lopez-Yrigoyen is a Senior Scientist at Macomics. As part of the cell biology and immunology team, Martha is responsible for the development of novel complex cell models, myeloid functional genomics and reprogramming approaches, and immunology assays to support target identification, characterisation, and the study of antibody cellular pharmacology.  Martha has deep expertise in macrophage biology and has led the field in the development of methods for the genetic reprogramming of macrophages. Martha has published in leading international academic journals including Nature Communications and is a named inventor on macrophage patents. Martha was one of the first two scientists at Macomics, collaborating with the company whilst a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Edinburgh, before joining Macomics full time in 2021. She has a PhD in the genetic programming of human iPSC-derived macrophages from the University of Edinburgh. She has received multiple awards including the Winifred Cullis Prize for outstanding PhD.

Richard Brooks

Consultant Head of Finance

Richard Brooks is an experienced executive with over 25 years of experience in start-ups and early-stage technology companies.  He is a co-founder of FD Solutions, formerly a market leader in the UK for the provision of part-time finance directors.  He is the provider of Head of Finance services to Mironid, AdoRx Therapeutics, Lunac Therapeutics, Neophore and Epidarex Exeed.

Dr Krzysztof B. Wicher

VP Drug Discovery

Dr Wicher is an experienced drug developer. He was a Director of Research at Ossianix, a biotech start-up developing blood-brain barrier penetrant biologics, using a single domain shark antibody platform. He then served as a Director of Pharmacology and Translational Sciences at Kymab, supporting the preclinical development of immuno-oncology biologics. At MedImmune/AstraZeneca he was involved in creating novel biologics formats for the treatment of autoimmune and other diseases. Krzysztof holds an MSc in Biotechnology from the Jagiellonski University in Kraków and a PhD from the University of Uppsala. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the London Research Institute, CRUK (now part of the Crick Institute), and at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.

Dr Stephen Myatt

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Myatt joined Macomics in 2021 and previously served as Chief Executive Officer at Azeria Therapeutics, where he led the company’s $45mn Series B financing. Prior, he was a Partner at venture capital firm Sixth Element Capital, managing a $95mn oncology venture fund focussed on building early-stage companies and supporting the progression of therapeutic programs from discovery to the early clinic. Successful fund exits include transactions with Novartis, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Sierra Oncology, Boston Pharmaceuticals, Stemline Therapeutics, and Achilles Therapeutics (NASDAQ). Companies in which Sixth Element Capital invested as a founding investor have to date raised over $325mn of venture financing. Steve began his career at Cancer Research Technology, responsible for identifying new academic drug discovery opportunities in Cambridge UK and was latterly Head of Alliances, Business Development, establishing multiple drug discovery partnerships between Pharma, biotech and academia. Steve has a first-class degree in Pharmacology and a PhD in paediatric oncology.

Prof. Jeffrey W. Pollard

Founder Director and Adviser

Prof. Jeffrey Pollard is a Director of the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health (MRC-CRH), University of Edinburgh. 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. Prof. Pollard has published over 270 scientific papers and is one of the most cited researchers in science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He has been awarded many honours, most notably the American Cancer Society Medal of Honour for Basic Sciences for his work in tumor immunology in 2010.

DR LUCA CASSETTA
VP Immunology and Founder

Dr Cassetta is a co-Founder of Macomics and is an immunologist with in-depth knowledge of human myeloid cell biology applied to different human diseases.  He obtained a PhD in immunology at the S.Raffaele Institute in Milan studying the role of macrophage polarization in HIV pathogenesis; he then moved to NY at the Albert Einstein Medical College in the lab of Prof. Jeffrey Pollard where he studied Tumor Associated Macrophages in breast cancer. He then moved to the University of Edinburgh continuing his studies on TAMs where he established his own lab as principal investigator. His extensive experience in human macrophage biology contributed to the development of the Macomics screening platform. Dr Cassetta is an author of multiple publications in high-impact international scientific journals including Cancer Cell, Nature Communications, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Blood, PNAS, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. He was awarded the Innovation Prize cup 2019 as a young entrepreneur for the spinout company, Macomics. Dr Cassetta joined Macomics full time as VP Immunology in 2021.