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Achilles Therapeutics lands Series B funding

UK-based Achilles Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, has secured 100 million pounds in Series B funding. RA Capital Management led the round. Goodwin‘s London life sciences practice advised Achilles on the fundraising.


September 04, 2019 — London, United Kingdom —Goodwin’s London Life Sciences practice advised Achilles Therapeutics (“Achilles”) on its £100m Series B crossover financing, completed today, which is one of the largest growth stage venture rounds for a UK life sciences company this year.
Achilles is a Stevenage-based biopharmaceutical company developing personalised cancer immunotherapies. The fundraise, led by incoming US investor RA Capital Management, will deliver the next wave of immuno-oncology drug development and allow Achilles to continue the growth of its manufacturing capabilities and solid tumour pre-clinical product pipeline.

The Goodwin team was led by Sophie McGrath, a partner in Goodwin’s London Life Sciences group with support from associate Kenny Walker-Durrant and other lawyers comprising of specialists from our Intellectual Property, GDPR, Data Privacy and Tax teams in the UK and the USA.
In addition to RA Capital Management’s investment, the fundraise was cornerstoned by Syncona and joined by new investors including Forbion, Invus, Perceptive Advisors and Redmile Group.

Sophie McGrath, partner in Goodwin’s Technology and Life Sciences group, said: “This is a significant transaction, both for Achilles and the UK life sciences sector. Achilles will undertake important clinical trials to bring life-changing therapies to the immuno-oncology market as a result of this milestone fundraising. This transaction further reinforces Goodwin’s reputation as the destination law firm for complex, cross-border life sciences transactions with investors from multiple jurisdictions.”

Dr Iraj Ali, CEO of Achilles Therapeutics, said: “Achilles is leading the next wave of immuno-oncology drug development. We have moved from concept to clinic-ready in less than three years. We are extremely pleased to welcome this excellent group of new investors to Achilles and I would like to personally thank our existing founding investors for their continued support. With this fundraising we have made a clear statement about the scale and nature of our ambitions to bring novel cancer therapies rapidly to patients with a high unmet medical need.”

The Goodwin team was led by Sophie McGrath and associate Kenny Walker-Durrant with assistance from Mitchell Bloom, Andrew Harrow, Duncan Greenhalgh, Stephen Charkoudian, Daniel Karelitz, Gretchen Scott and Rachel Thurbon.

Goodwin boasts a dynamic Life Sciences practice servicing the needs of the biotech, pharma, and healthcare industries in key life sciences hubs. The team is deeply experienced in developing and implementing creative strategies to help maximize the value and position of our clients across all phases of the corporate life cycle including on corporate, intellectual property, FDA/regulatory, and litigation matters. In 2018, Goodwin advised issuers on more than a dozen biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry IPOs worth in aggregate nearly $2 billion — making Goodwin the number one advisor in this sector by offering value. This work included representation of Moderna Therapeutics in the largest biotechnology IPO in history. Goodwin has been named life sciences “Practice Group of the Year” by Law360, “Biotech Firm of the Year” by U.S. News and World Report – Best Lawyers for five years, and “IP Law Firm of the Year” and “Life Cycle Firm of the Year” by LMG Life Sciences.

About Goodwin
At Goodwin, we partner with our clients to practice law with integrity, ingenuity, agility and ambition. Our 1,000-plus lawyers across the United States, Europe and Asia excel at complex transactions, high-stakes litigation and world-class advisory services in the technology, life sciences, real estate, private equity, and financial industries. Our unique combination of deep experience serving both the innovators and investors in a rapidly-changing, technology-driven economy sets us apart. To learn more, visit us at and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Achilles Therapeutics
Achilles Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing personalised T cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to the individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell. Achilles uses DNA sequencing data from each patient, together with the proprietary PELEUS™ bioinformatics platform, to identify clonal neoantigens specific to that patient, and then develop personalised T cell-based therapies specifically targeting those clonal neoantigens.
Achilles was founded by lead investor Syncona Ltd and its original shareholders include the CRT Pioneer Fund, UCL Technology Fund, Cancer Research Technology, with the support of UCL Business (UCLB) and the Francis Crick Institute. For further information please visit the Company’s website at: