London-based GammaDelta Therapeutics announced it had spun out a company, Adaptate Biotherapeutics. The launch of Adaptate included investment from venture capital firm Abingworth and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Takeda picked up a time-limited option to buy Adaptate in the future. Both Adaptate and GammaDelta have also received support from King’s College London, the Francis Crick Institute and Cancer Research Technology.
GammaDelta focuses on developing gammadelta (γδ) T-cell-based cell therapeutics. The company was formed in 2016. Gammadelta T-cells express a unique T-cell receptor made up of one gamma chain and one delta chain. They are found in only small amounts in the body, but are found in the gut mucosa, skin, lungs and uterus, and are involved in launching and continuing immune responses.
Adaptate will build on GammaDelta’s expertise in modulating gammadelta T-cell activity using antibodies, with a focus on developing an immune response to cancer.
Natalie Mount, currently GammaDelta’s chief scientific officer, will become chief executive officer of Adaptate. The two companies will continue to share expertise as they work to develop different therapeutic approaches.
“γδ T-cells have tremendous therapeutic potential that is yet to be fully realized, and our fascinating journey has afforded additional opportunities beyond our main focus on cell therapy,” said Paolo Paoletti, chief executive officer of GammaDelta Therapeutics. “Spinning out these activities to create Adaptate Biotherapeutics now enables the deployment of a focused effort on non-cell therapy. Natalie has managed this effort as part of her role at GammaDelta Therapeutics, and she is the natural CEO to lead the efforts of Adaptate. I’m extremely pleased for hits opportunity for Natalie and want to thank Raj Mehta, director of BD, IP and Alliance Management at GammaDelta Therapeutics, for his work on the spin-out and Abingworth and Takeda for their continued support.”
In December 2018, GammaDelta moved its headquarters to White City Place, a 1.9 million square foot business, innovation and life sciences district in West London. It is adjacent to Imperial College’s White City Campus, which is the site of Novartis’ headquarters. The GammaDelta location is about 12,000 square feet of office and lab space in the WestWorks building. The company also has research space in the Incubator at the Translation and Innovation Hub at Imperial College London.
In 2017, Abingworth and Takeda invested $100 million into the company.
Adaptate will also be located in White City Place in London in the WestWorks building.
“I’m proud to be leading this new company, and excited by the potential we have to expand the therapeutic opportunities of γδ T-cells,” said Mount. “Both companies continue to share the ultimate goal of harnessing the power of these cells to improve the lives of patients and I look forward to driving Adaptate Biotherapeutics to achieve this goal.”
Mount joined GammaDelta in 2017 from the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, where she was the chief clinical officer since 2012. At Catapult, Mount oversaw the translational, regulatory and clinical development activities of a broad portfolio that included immune therapies and stem cell-based programs. She also advised academics and small companies that were working on cell-based therapies. Mount previously spent 16 years at Pfizer, leading various therapeutic areas including cell-based therapies in the Regenerative Medicine Unit. She holds a first class degree in natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from University College, London.