Over the past five years, antibodies have become the best-selling drugs in the pharmaceutical market (in 2018 eight of the top ten best-selling drugs worldwide were biologics). Targeted monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), therapeutic proteins that bind to specific target sites, have become a cornerstone of treatment guidelines for a wide range of solid tumors, resulting in improved outcomes by reducing the severe side effects of conventional chemotherapy. However, the tumor microenvironment continues to pose physical barriers that hinder the penetration of macromolecules into solid tumors — even antibody fragments are unable to saturate the tumor and achieve uniform distributions due to shorter half lives.
Creasallis is developing its own antibody engineering platform, CreaTap, aimed at improving the penetration of antibodies into the tumor microenvironment while ensuring a long enough half-life to provide the best of mAbs and antibody fragments. The founder, Zahra Jawad, has spent 15 years in antibody engineering at GSK and Agenus and was most recently head of programs at bit.bio.
The market for antibodies (valued at over $186 billion in 2021) has continued to grow as the number of approved novel therapies rises, primarily driven by the ability to treat complex diseases. We believe that Creasallis’ antibody platform can be a single, plug-and-play engineering solution which can serve the antibody oncology market. Moreover, pairing CreaTap with existing antibodies could enable better half-life and efficacy and also prolong the exclusivity life cycle of blockbuster antibodies, while delaying the emergence of biosimilars (copies of previously successful biologics), making it an attractive opportunity for partnerships with large pharma.
We’re excited to be backing Zahra and the entire Creasallis team on their mission to make antibody therapies available to a much larger patient population.