Macomics and IFOM (the AIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology) Announce Macrophage Scientific Collaboration

  • Laboratory of Prof. Massimiliano Pagani at IFOM (the AIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology) and Macomics to bring together expertise on T-cell biology, ex-vivo tumoroids and macrophages
  • The collaboration will combine advanced human ex vivo models with new therapeutic approaches to support Macomics’ continued exploration of novel macrophage biology

EDINBURGH, United Kingdom and CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom and MILAN, Italy, May 13, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Macomics Ltd, a leader in macrophage drug discovery, announces that it has entered a scientific collaboration with Prof. Massimiliano Pagani from the IFOM (the AIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology), one of Italy’s leading research institutes in Cancer Research.

IFOM is focused on the study of cancer formation and development at the molecular level. Prof. Pagani’s laboratory is pioneering studies on Regulatory T cells in the tumour microenvironment. The collaboration will see Macomics work with Dr Francesca Simoncello in Prof. Pagani’s lab to synergize this deep knowledge, particularly in the use of ex vivo tumoroids and T cell biology, with Macomics’ macrophage expertise. The goal is to explore new modes of action for macrophage targeted therapies.

Macomics is exploiting the potential of macrophage-targeted approaches to develop first-in-class medicines to address disease of high unmet medical need. The company’s ENIGMAC macrophage drug discovery platform allows access to previously hidden disease specific macrophage targets: It integrates large volume human data sets, next generation human macrophage cell models, and proprietary macrophage genome editing capability to discover novel targets, unlock new disease biology, and de-risk clinical translation.

Under the collaboration the parties will explore together the potential for the use of ex vivo tumoroid models developed by the Pagani lab in the characterisation of macrophage targeted therapies, including testing of novel drug candidates with new modes of action discovered by Macomics in complex human assay systems.

Dr Luca Cassetta, VP Immunology and Founder of Macomics, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with one of the leading centres of excellence in the T-cell biology field. This collaboration will allow us to optimise the design of our therapies by harnessing the power of patient-derived organoids which, unlike cell lines, recapitulate the overall architecture and functional features of the cancer tissue from which they originate. They also better replicate the complexity of the human tumour microenvironment than commonly used pre-clinical models. This understanding will accelerate the advancement of our programs towards clinical development.”

Prof. Massimiliano Pagani, Principal Investigator at IFOM and Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Milan, said, “A key goal for IFOM is the rapid transfer of scientific results from bench to bedside. This collaboration fits that goal, bringing together international experts across disciplines to accelerate the discovery of new therapies that [have the potential to] improve the long-term outcome for cancer patients.”

Dr Stephen Myatt, CEO of Macomics, said, “This is an important collaboration that brings together cutting-edge technology, complex assays, and novel therapeutic strategies to address the challenge and huge potential of macrophage drug discovery. Macrophages are key to multiple diseases of high unmet medical need, including as key mediators of solid tumour immunosuppression and pathological inflammation in chronic inflammatory disorders, and we are advancing a number of programs in our pipeline towards clinical studies, to bring new therapies to cancer patients.”


Macomics Ltd is a macrophage drug discovery company with a world-leading macrophage drug discovery platform, developing first-in-class medicines to deliver transformational impact for patients with macrophage-driven diseases: Macrophages are key to multiple diseases of high unmet medical need, including as key mediators of solid tumour immunosuppression and pathological inflammation in chronic inflammatory disorders.

The company is progressing a diversified portfolio of therapies targeting disease specific macrophages towards the clinic. Its ENIGMAC macrophage drug discovery platform enables identification and validation of novel macrophage therapeutic targets and provides a translationally relevant path to clinic through the development of more physiologically relevant human macrophage models combined with proprietary gene editing technology.

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. The company’s financing was led by Epidarex Capital and the company is backed by Scottish Enterprise, LifeLink Ventures and Caribou Property Limited.

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About IFOM -

Founded in 1998 and supported by AIRC, the Italian Association for Cancer Research, IFOM is an international cancer research institute focused on the study of cancer formation and development at molecular level, with a view to a rapid transfer of results from bench to bedside.

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At the Company - Steve Myatt, CEO, Macomics E:

Media enquiries (for Macomics) - Sue Charles, Charles Consultants T: +44 (0)7968 726585 E: