Macomics Presents its ENIGMAC™ Discovery Platform for Gene to Function Target Validation of Novel Macrophage Therapies at AACR

EDINBURGH, United Kingdom and CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom, April 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Macomics Ltd, a leader in macrophage drug discovery has presented data demonstrating the power of its ENIGMACTM macrophage drug discovery platform at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Annual Meeting, AACR 2023, April 14-19, Florida.

Macomics is exploiting the potential of macrophage-based approaches to develop novel precision medicines to target disease specific macrophage biology.

Macomics’ ENIGMAC™ drug discovery platform represents a unique tool for gene-to-function studies using human macrophages. It integrates large volume human data sets, custom cell models, and proprietary human macrophage genome editing capability to discover novel targets and unlock disease specific target biology. It is disease agnostic and can be integrated with a variety of disease-specific conditions and phenotypic readouts.

Macrophages are key players of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Most tumors are populated by macrophages and a rich infiltration of this myeloid cell is generally correlated with poor prognosis at the clinical level. Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) influence all the other cell types in the tumor by creating a pro-tumoral niche which favours cancer cells to proliferate and invade other organs.

Presenting the data at AACR, Dr Carola Reis, CSO of Macomics said, “Using ‘Omics’ techniques is fundamental to fully understand the extreme complexity of the TME and identify new targets. Whilst many datasets have been produced in recent years, they lack proper validation at the functional level. Our ENIGMAC™ discovery platform allows stringent bioinformatic analysis coupled with macrophage gene editing and subsequent functional analysis, to enable the identification of genetically validated macrophage therapeutic targets that informs the drug screening assay strategy.”

Data presented at AACR shows Macomics’s use of a human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) line to yield macrophages phenotypically and functionally very similar to human monocyte-derived macrophage (MDM), producing millions of macrophages per week for use in multiple high throughput assays. It also presented its proprietary toolbox that integrates gene Knock In (KI), Knock Out (KO) and Knock Down (KD) with high efficiency both at iPSC and macrophage level while maintaining expression/silencing during macrophage differentiation. KD can be performed using a pooled approach that enables screening by flow cytometry-based phenotypes at large scale.

Dr Steve Myatt, CEO of Macomics added, “We believe that TAMs reprogramming is a very effective strategy. By changing the phenotype of a high number of intratumoral TAM, we achieve not only the abrogation of their tumor-supporting functions but importantly also the increase of their tumor-killing properties. In this way, at Macomics, we plan to tip the balance and create a reprogramming domino effect which will influence other immune cells to mount an effective anti-tumor immune response.”

  1. Poster no. 2751: ENIGMAC™ discovery platform enables gene to function target validation for macrophage therapy. 
    Authors: Martha Lopez-Yrigoyen, Thomas W. Crozier, Helena Engman, Yuxin Cui, Moritz Haneklaus, Krzysztof B. Wicher, Steven Myatt, Jeffrey W Pollard, Luca Cassetta and Carola Ries (presenter) 
    Session Category: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 
    Session Title: Innovative Assay Technologies 
    Session Date and Time: Monday Apr 17, 2023, 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM

The poster will be posted on our website after it has been presented at AACR.


Macomics Ltd is an immuno-oncology company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, developing precision medicines to modulate macrophages for the treatment of cancer. The company is progressing a diversified portfolio of therapies targeting disease specific tumour associated macrophages (‘TAMs’) towards the clinic. Its ENIGMACTM macrophage drug discovery platform enables identification and validation of novel macrophage therapeutic targets and is based on its deep understanding of macrophage biology.

The company was co-founded in 2020 by Prof. Jeffrey Pollard and Dr. Luca Cassetta, University of Edinburgh, internationally recognised leaders in macrophage biology. It has R&D and office facilities in Edinburgh and Cambridge, UK and is backed by Epidarex Capital, Scottish Enterprise, LifeLink Ventures and Caribou Property Limited.

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