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ADCs combine the cell killing activity of a cytotoxic drug payload with the targeting ability of an antibody.

Unlike classic chemotherapy that does not discriminate between cancer and healthy cells, ADCs are targeted to kill cancer cells only. They have the potential to reshape cancer treatment.

However, most current ADCs in development are limited by a lack of flexibility, toxic side-effects and limitations in the range of cancer patients that can be treated.

Spirea has developed an exciting and flexible new approach to building ADCs that allows more drug payload to be specifically directed to the tumour cell. This results in an increase in therapeutic effect whilst substantially reducing debilitating side-effects.

By delivering the right amount of the right drug to the right cells Spirea will unlock a new generation of accessible, powerful and well-tolerated medicines for the treatment of a wide range of cancers. Spirea will use its revolutionary technology to build a pipeline of proprietary and partnered ADC therapeutics with enhanced therapeutic index.

Spirea is a University of Cambridge spin out. Start Codon has invested in the company alongside other investors, including Dr Jonathan Milner, IP Group, Cambridge Enterprise, O2H Ventures and Syndicate Room.

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