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ThirtyFiveBio awarded £495k Innovate UK grant

Published on 13 September 2023

The prestigious Innovate UK award provides funding to support ThirtyFiveBio’s preclinical activities designed to enable advancement into clinical development of first-in-class GPR35 inhibitors for treatment of gastrointestinal disease and cancers.

ThirtyFiveBio – a biotechnology company developing first-in-class tools for the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disease and headquartered at Milton Park – has been awarded a highly competitive Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

The £495,000 grant will fund research designed to enable the company to conduct studies of GPR35 inhibitors for the treatment of gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases and cancers. This will ultimately enable advancement into clinical development.

The project is focused on optimising and evaluating the capabilities of GPR35 inhibitors in clinically translational murine models of disease. The results will be essential in defining the clinical scope of human-GPR35 inhibitors and enabling advancement of clinical candidates to proof-of-concept studies in humans.

James Westcott PhD, CEO of ThirtyFiveBio, said: “We believe that GPR35 inhibition represents an extremely promising and novel therapeutic approach to addressing GI cancers and inflammatory diseases, many of which need new therapies that can deliver durable results with improved tolerability.”

“As a company at the forefront of research in this emerging area, one of our focuses is creating innovative preclinical tools for evaluating, optimising and advancing the most promising GPR35 inhibitors.

“Our work in this area will be significantly advanced by the grant funding received from Innovate UK and we would like to express our deep gratitude to the agency for recognizing the value of this project and providing the BMC grant.”

The role of GPR35 in GI diseases is validated with several drug developers advancing programs designed to address the target. To date, virtually all these efforts have been focused on increasing the activity of GPR35 with targeted chemicals which activate receptors – known as antagonism.  

However, important recent scientific findings, including key insights from the ThirtyFiveBio team, support the hypothesis that GPR35 may represent a more appropriate therapeutic approach by blocking unwanted GPR35 signalling.

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