Adendra Therapeutics aims to create a new kind of immunotherapy. By applying new insights into dendritic cell biology, Adendra is working to discover and develop novel small molecules and biologic medicines against cancer and other diseases.
Adendra’s scientific foundation is the pioneering work of Caetano Reis e Sousa at The Francis Crick Institute, revealing ways in which dendritic cells orchestrate immune responses to cell death.
Dendritic cells are antigen-presenting cells, acting as sentinels alerting the immune system to the presence of potential disease-causing agents. It has long been understood that dendritic cells do this by using receptors that recognize components of microbes and viruses. Recent research conducted by Reis e Sousa has demonstrated that dendritic cells also possess unique receptors that recognize signs of atypical cell death in which cells rupture and leave exposed their cytoskeleton (the scaffolding of the cells). Abnormal cell death of this sort is a hallmark of pathological processes such as rapid tumor growth that kills cells by depriving them of oxygen or nutrients, or viral infections that destroy cells.
Adendra’s proprietary technology builds on this understanding of dendritic cell activity and seeks to expand and adapt it to various cell types, to direct a finely calibrated immune response to different diseases.