C4X Discovery renews collaboration with Evotec AG

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C4X Discovery (C4XD), a leader in rational drug discovery and design, announced today that it has extended its research collaboration agreement with Evotec, under which C4XD’s proprietary NMR-based technology and conformational design expertise is applied across a number of Evotec’s pre-clinical therapeutic projects to enhance lead discovery and hit identification.

C4XD has the only technology in the world that can generate accurate, experimentally-derived dynamic solution 3D structures of drug molecules in just a matter of days, helping to accelerate product development. It can be used in conjunction with existing technologies for structure-based drug design and can make a particularly high impact when protein crystallography is not routinely available, as is the case for GPCRs and ion channels.

The technology can also be applied to help identify and generate novel crystal polymorph forms, with exciting potential applications in the life cycle management of existing branded pharmaceuticals.

Piers Morgan, CEO of C4X, said “We are delighted to renew and extend our partnership with Evotec, a global leader in high-quality drug discovery solutions. This collaboration has generated valuable data underpinning the advantages and benefits of C4XD’s technology.”

Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are pleased to continue working with C4XD and are excited by the progress so far with this alliance. C4XD has a highly innovative platform technology which complements our strong research base to accelerate product development.”

 

For further information please contact:

C4X Discovery Ltd

Piers Morgan, CEO                                                                        07912 293832

Ross Andrews / Dan Bate, Zeus Capital                                        016 1831 1512

Dominic Wilson, Zeus Capital                                                         020 7533 7727

Matthew Cole / Ben Atwell / Matthew Moss, FTI Consulting         020 3727 1000

comms@c4xdiscovery.com

Manchester polymer helps protect people at work

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On workerA polymer invented by University of Manchester academics is a key component of a new type of sensor that indicates when it is time for a user of industrial respirators to change their organic vapour filter.

Workers in many industries use respirators for protection against chemical vapours. The vapours are removed by cartridges or filters which contain an adsorbent. Organic vapour filters must be discarded and replaced based on exposures and usage, to ensure proper protection. Until now, there has been no visual indicator to help determine when to change an organic vapour filter. The new 3M™ Service Life Indicator provides a simple, visual tool to help users determine when to change their filters, and contains the University developed innovation – a polymer of intrinsic microporosity, referred to as a PIM.

PIMs are big molecules with highly rigid and contorted molecular structures, which have tiny spaces – a nanometer or less in size – that small molecules can penetrate. Organic vapours readily adsorb into the PIM, and the sensor is designed to indicate when the PIM collects vapours above a specified minimum indication level.

PIMs were developed at the University in research led by Professors Peter Budd and Neil McKeown, with the innovation being licensed to 3M by the University’s agent for intellectual property commercialisation (UMIP). ”3M has invested in the development and launch of a significant new sensor and we are extremely proud of the contribution PIMs is making in this field,” commented Clare Wood, UMIP’s Business Development Portfolio Manager.

Current research is exploring other applications for PIMs, including their use in membranes for separating gas mixtures and liquid mixtures. PIMs have potential for the removal of carbon dioxide from power station flue gases, and for the purification of bioalcohols.

The 3M™ Organic Gas & Vapour Service Life Indicator Filters are now available for sale in the UK. Please contact 3M on 0870 60 800 60 (UK) or 1 800 320 500 (Ireland) or email personalsafety.uk@mmm.com

For further information about PIMs research, please visit: http://people.man.ac.uk/~mbdsspmb and for licensing opportunities for additional applications please contact: Clare Wood, UMIP Business Development Portfolio Manager. clare.wood@umip.com, Tel: + 44 (0) 161 306 8534

Indicator close up

GM AHSN and MIMIT’s latest Technology Innovation Challenge Fund Call

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MIMIT (Manchester: Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology) has launched a second competition aligned to GM AHSN’s clinical priorities and the Patient Safety Collaborative themes:

Medicines Optimisation Closing date for Outline Proposals 11th January, 2015

This competition will be aimed at identifying early stage technology innovation that will:

  • accelerate the development of new healthcare technologies to the point where they can lever further investment,
  • facilitate early collaboration with industry and
  • ultimately enable them to benefit patient care faster and more effectively.

We are particularly interested and priority will be given to devices that address medicines optimisation by helping patients to:

  • improve their outcomes
  • take their medicines correctly
  • avoid taking unnecessary medicines
  • reduce wastage of medicines
  • and improve medicines safety

Further information about the call and how to apply can be found here: http://www.gmahsn.org/technology-innovation-challenge

UMI3 celebrates 10 year Anniversary

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We celebrated 10 years of positive impact in technology transfer this week with an event held at our Innovation Centre.

Since 2004, we have created over thirty spin-out companies and brokered over 800 licences and assignments, helping to meet the University’s target of becoming a world-class benchmark for commercialising academic research outputs.

Over the past 10 years, over £245M has been invested by venture funders in University spin-out companies, a number of which have gone on to receive national and regional awards. Additionally, the University’s IP enterprise activities have generated over £70M to the University through the sale of shares in spin-outs, licensing income, IP grants and contracts and translational awards activity.

We have helped to launch a raft of successful spin-out companies across a wide range of market sectors including quantum dot manufacturer Nanoco Technologies and 2-DTech, a graphene spin-out which was recently sold to Versarien Plc. As a strong supporter of social enterprise, it has supported innovations which have become social businesses including Ketso, a hands-on kit for social engagement, which has been used in Africa and India to help people communicate more effectively and HiSolar, provider of solar powered LED lighting for heritage bathhouses in North Africa & Middle East and for social housing applications amongst others.

We have also licensed University technologies to industry for medical, engineering and other specialist applications.

Clive Rowland, UMI3 CEO, commented: “The work that we carry out with our academic colleagues is very exciting and rewarding. We have weathered the external financial shocks well, which is a testament to my colleagues’ persistence and the scale and quality of the University’s inventions and software, which gives us confidence for continued progress over the next ten years.”

Professor Luke Georghiou, the University’s Vice President for Research and Innovation added: ‘As a University we have to ensure that the work we do has impact beyond academia, yielding economic social and cultural benefits. UMI3 is a very important interface, it helps us get our IP out to key target groups, bringing health-improving, quality of life enhancing, environmentally efficient and sustainable technologies into the market place. It is great to be able to take stock of these achievements today as we move into the next decade of delivering innovation especially on the back of George Osborne’s recent announcements about science investment in the region.”

The celebration event also saw presentations by investor partners The UMIP Premier Fund, IP Group and Professor Simon Rowland, co-founder of spin-out company, Arago Technology.

Delegates were shown around an innovation gallery which highlighted a selection of University technologies which have been commercialised. Innovations displayed covered many market sectors including biomedical, environmental and energy fields and consisted of spin-out technologies, licensed technologies and social enterprises.

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From left to right: Professor Simon Rowland (Arago Ltd), Dr Cassie Doherty (IPGroup), Dr Mark Rahn (MTI partners/UMIP Premier Fund) Professor Luke Georghiou (University of Manchester Vice President for Research and Innovation), Clive Rowland (UMI3 CEO)

ClinTouch finalists at the annual Northwest Biomedical Awards 2014

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The University of Manchester’s ClinTouch project team, led by Professor Shôn Lewis, were finalists in the Healthcare Project of the Year category at the annual Bionow Northwest Biomedical Awards held at the Mere Golf and Country Club on November 27th. Now in its 13th year, this prestigious awards dinner celebrates key achievements from companies and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the biomedical sector during 2014.

ClinTouch is a platform to help people with serious mental illness (SMI) to start to manage their own symptoms. It is based around a smartphone app developed by a team of service users, leading clinical and social scientists, software engineers and health professionals at The University of Manchester and funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) since 2010. ClinTouch’s service user team are central to their design process.

ClinTouch works by tracking people’s symptoms in real time during the day, via completion of a personalised item set prompted by semi-random beeps. This takes about a minute to complete. The data are then wirelessly uploaded to a secure central server and a database rapidly built up of symptom patterns, severity and triggers, allowing users to gain increasing control over their illness. An SMS version is available which has been shown to improve users’ experience of care, and enhance collaboration with health professionals.

As well as a standalone app, ClinTouch is being built into an end-to-end clinical management system aimed at averting relapse and rehospitalisation, again funded by the MRC. Following a first episode of SMI, 80% of people have one or relapses over the next five years, usually leading to acute inpatient admission. Such admissions account for over half of all admissions in NHS mental health services. Treatments for SMI cost the NHS about £2 billion each year.

ClinTouch will alert the care team at the team base if prodromal symptoms of relapse start to emerge, allowing for early community intervention. Data are streamed into e-health records. The system has now been set up and is being evaluated in mental health Trusts in Manchester and South London. ClinTouch is working directly with several Trusts to facilitate adoption of the technology into the NHS.

ClinTouch has now been beta tested and trialled in about 150 service users with SMI and has been shown to be safe, reliable, valid, and feasible, with high acceptability. Most users like it. The key to this is its design methodology, largely driven by focus groups of people with SMI, which has driven the functionality and usability of the interface. Results of randomised feasibility trials are published in peer-reviewed papers. Specific in-house, personalisable modules, either developed or in development, can be added on to the ClinTouch core: medication management, side effect monitoring, peer-to-peer social networking, simple cognitive behavioural interventions.

Professor Shôn Lewis commented: “The whole ClinTouch team are honoured to have been finalists. It shows that our efforts to use new technologies to help and support people with serious mental health problems have been recognised. ”

Dr Sonia Nikolovski, UMIP IP Development and Partnering manager, commented: “We are delighted that the achievements of the multidisciplinary team involved in researching and developing this very exciting technology has been recognised by the awards panel. We are now working together with the team behind ClinTouch to commercialise the technology. We welcome discussions with interested parties.”

Find out more about ClinTouch at www.clintouch.com

Follow ClinTouch on Twitter #clin_touch

clintouch

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