Awards success for Amphista Therapeutics
Published on 24 November 2023
The commercial achievements of a University of Dundee spinout have been recognised with a top prize at a major awards ceremony.
The work of Amphista Therapeutics Ltd was named the Commercialisation Achievement of the Year at the prestigious PraxisAURIL KE Awards, which celebrate the best of university knowledge exchange activity in the UK.
The company, founded just six years ago, utilises targeted protein degradation (TPD) to create first in-class therapeutics.
Judges honoured the University and Amphista for the firm’s innovative start-up, incubated within the University, and Amphista’s tremendous growth. This has seen significant investment and licensing agreements signed by Amphista with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. This includes collaborations with Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb that include upfront payments and performance-based milestone payments valued at more than US$2.125bn – potentially the largest deal globally in the field of TPD.
Amphista was founded in the laboratory of Professor Alessio Ciulli, a world leader in TPD research, based in the University’s School of Life Sciences, itself a globally recognised centre of excellence.
The IP & Commercialisation team of the University’s Research & Innovation Services (RIS) supported the company’s journey and ambitions at all stages, working with the founders and the lead investors, Advent Life Sciences, since 2017.
Following this latest success, Professor Ciulli said, “I am humbled to receive this award on behalf of everyone involved on the successful journey so far of Amphista.
“For everyone who has contributed to Amphista - the founders, investors, colleagues from the University’s Research & Innovation Services, members of my research group, and the company – this is recognition of everyone’s tremendous work.”
Targeted protein degradation co-opts the cell’s natural disposal systems to remove disease-causing proteins and is applicable to diverse therapeutic areas including oncology, dermatology, immunology, neuroscience and respiratory diseases. This entirely new approach is revolutionising drug discovery by making the treatment of diseases previously thought to be undruggable a reality.
Dundee's role as a recognised leader in TPD has recently been enhanced with the formal opening of its dedicated Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) in October by the UK Science and Innovation Minister.
Founded and directed by Professor Ciulli, CeTPD is one of the cornerstone investments in the projected Life Sciences Innovation District, which the University is promoting in partnership with Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise. Along with the Tay Cities-funded Innovation Hub opening in 2024, CeTPD will provide an engine for new high growth spin-out and spin-in companies that will transform the region’s economy – creating hundreds of high value jobs - and place the University at the centre of a high growth regional cluster in health and life sciences.
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