aTen Therapeutics to develop new breast cancer treatment

Released: Tuesday 30th August 2022

aTen Therapeutics awarded £282k to develop new breast cancer treatment 


Scottish biotech company, aTen Therapeutics, today announced a £282,733 Innovate UK grant to

advance a promising new therapy for breast cancer. The award will allow the company, in

collaboration with scientists at ARU (Cambridge), to accelerate the development of its novel human

monoclonal antibody ATN-E11.


ATN-E11 has already been shown to prolong survival in experimental models of cancer. It targets the

angiotensin-II type I receptor (AT1R), which is overexpressed in a range of different cancers. This

overexpression stimulates tumour growth and increases the ability of malignant cancer cells to

invade and migrate. By blocking the receptor, ATN-E11 could become a powerful new cancer



Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer globally. With an estimated 2.3 million new

cases in 2020, it accounts for 1 in 4 female cancer diagnoses and 685,000 deaths annually. There are

several subtypes of breast cancer with different molecular and clinical features (including drug

resistance) that dictate and limit treatment options, so demand for novel therapies remains very



Dr Karen Spink, Head of Medicines at Innovate UK, said: ‘This exciting project, funded through our

Biomedical Catalyst Programme, addresses a critical unmet need for better targeted and more

effective cancer treatments. Access to a diverse armoury of precision therapies is at the heart of our

mission on cancer, that promises to radically improve patient outcomes.’


aTen Therapeutics’ CEO, Ian Abercrombie, said: ‘We’re excited by the potential of our technology to

extend and improve lives. The Innovate UK grant is a great endorsement of this potential and the

hard work of our team in Edinburgh. We look forward to progressing ATN-E11 towards clinical trials,

and ultimately providing a new treatment option for people living with breast cancer.’


Prof Chris Parris, Head of School of Life Sciences at ARU, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working with

the aTen Therapeutics team to explore this exciting new approach to cancer treatment and we look

forward to generating key data in the coming months. Our first target is breast cancer but the

therapy could also be effective in many other cancer types.’


- ENDS -


aTen Therapeutics Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oncobiopharm Ltd, is a pre-clinical stage Scottish

biotechnology company developing novel antibody therapeutics to treat cancers and other medical conditions.

Founded by Prof Christopher Wood, winner of the Lifetime Achievement award at Scotland’s Annual Life

Sciences Awards 2022, the company is led by an experienced team with a strong track record of developing

innovative treatments from initial concept to clinical success.


Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency. It helps UK businesses to grow through the development and

commercialisation of new products, processes and services, supported by an outstanding innovation

ecosystem that is agile, inclusive and easy to navigate.

View all News