Quell Therapeutics Ltd arrives at Imperial College ThinkSpace’s I-HUB
Quell Therapeutics Ltd has established its new home at the Translation & Innovation Hub (I-HUB) on Imperial College’s White City campus. Quell is a life sciences company formed in 2019 to develop therapies for the management and treatment of a range of conditions such as solid organ transplant rejection, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
The immune system exists in a constant state of balance between protective immunity and self-tolerance, i.e. not attacking ‘self’. Multiple checks ensure this balance is not lost; however, overactivity of the immune system can lead to autoimmunity; to chronic inflammatory conditions, and, in the setting of organ transplantation, to organ rejection. On the other hand, the underactivity of the immune system is a result of global immunosuppression, which leads to a decreased ‘immune surveillance’ which often results in serious infections and cancer.
Different classes of T cells are the front line of control in the immune system with effector T cells (Teff) being responsible for killing non-self-cells, and T regulatory cells (Tregs) being responsible for dampening down the immune response preventing an over stimulation of the immune system. Put simply, Tregs are capable of down regulating the immune system by ‘putting on a brake’ to prevent over activation and resultant pathological immune responses.
Quell is employing proprietary and innovative technologies to genetically enhance Tregs, to enable the targeting of Tregs in an antigen (Ag)-specific manner and directing them to particular targets within the body, i.e. focusing their suppressive potential right where it is needed. These ex vivo engineered Tregs can then be introduced into patients with the potential to control unwanted immune activity enabling opportunities to treat patients with autoimmune and inflammatory disease as well as the potential to prevent organ rejection without the need for immune suppression.
Quell was named by FierceBiotech as one of 2019’s Fierce 15 biotechnology companies, designating it as one of the most promising private biotechnology companies in the industry.
At Imperial College White City Campus, working with its own contractors and Imperial College ThinkSpace, Quell has been able to design and build its own 11,000 sqft bespoke laboratory and office space.
“We are delighted to welcome Quell’s team to the I-HUB” said ThinkSpace’s Director of Business Development Richard Wheeler.
“Quell’s exciting and important R&D fits perfectly with the innovative culture within the building and across our White City campus”.
Iain McGill, Chief Executive Officer of Quell Therapeutics added “The existing shell and core floor at the I-HUB had all the necessary infrastructure to allow us to build the labs and offices to our specific requirements. It’s been a pleasure to work with ThinkSpace and our team is really pleased with the finished result and its new home.”
The I-HUB at White City Campus provides over 180,000 sqft of laboratories and Grade A offices for companies to co-locate with the Imperial College’s research community and other likeminded technology-based businesses.