Founding Quell Therapeutics

Syncona interview
Published 15 Oct 2019

Inside Syncona: Martin Murphy and Elisa Petris

Syncona’s Chief Executive, Martin Murphy and Syncona Partner, Elisa Petris talk through the process for founding our innovative cell therapy company, Quell Therapeutics.

Syncona launched Quell Therapeutics in March 2019. Quell is one of Syncona’s ‘Third Wave’ cell therapy portfolio companies and has been set up with the aim of developing engineered T regulatory (Treg) cell therapies to advance therapies for the management and treatment of a range of conditions such as solid organ transplant rejection, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

The process for founding the business took a year. Syncona brought together six leading academics in the T-Regulatory space from leading institutions, Kings College London, University College London and Hannover Medical School to found the business. The Syncona team undertook deep due diligence on the science and commercial potential for the company, subsequently developing the business plan, licensing the key IP and building out the founding team for the business.

“Like all other Syncona companies, we spent the last year developing the business plan, doing our diligence and licensing the key IP from the academic institutions but another key activity has been finding that talent to bring into the company early, so those people that share our ambition and vision.”

Dr Elisa Petris Partner, Syncona

This process is typical for founding a Syncona company, where we identify exceptional technology, which we think has the potential to become a product that could really make a difference for patients. We look to partner with the academic who has developed the technology and then write a plan that would allow us to create a company, licence the intellectual property and then develop a plan that allows us over typically, a period of 5-10 years, to take that product through clinical development and regulatory approval into market.