5 Cambridge biotech companies to watch

These are just some of the 440 innovative life sciences companies in or around Cambridge.

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 10 Dec 2018


Transgenic monoclonal antibodies
Funding: $229.4m

Sanger Institute spinout Kymab genetically engineers mice to produce human antibodies against diseases as diverse as cancer, atopic dermatitis and anaemia. Fuelled by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it’s also working on promising novel vaccines against malaria and HIV.


Bispecific antibodies
$56m in venture capital; $200m in revenues and non-dilutive capital

F-Star’s Modular Antibody Technology has opened the door to a new generation of highly targeted anti-cancer drugs. The Vienna-founded, Cambridge-based company’s canny business model includes partnering with pharmaceutical majors, licensing and spinning out the tech for acquisition. 

Artios Pharma

DNA damage repair
Funding: $112m in Series A and B

Artios targets cancer’s ability to evade our cells’ natural anti-cancer mechanisms, either attacking it or making it more susceptible to conventional treatments. The technology is so promising that this two-year-old company has already raised nearly £100m from investors including Pfizer, Novartis and AbbVie.

Axol Bioscience 

Pluripotent stem cells
Funding: £2.5m

This young B2B firm is tapping into the growing global demand in the life sciences sector for stem cells. Uniquely, these are consistent between batches, which is useful for the study of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Axol recently opened an office in Massachusetts and now offers services such as gene editing and cell programming.


Microbiome research
Funding: £12m

Microbiotica is a world leader in analysing the immensely complex ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in the human body, which has become a major research target for cancer and inflammatory bowel disease among others. The company has also started using the technology for its own drug discovery programmes. 

Image from Kymab, courtesy of Babraham Research Campus


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