• We are catalysts for innovation, commercialising next-generation technologies developed by

    The University of Manchester’s world-class research base

    • £360m+ invested by venture funders

    • 40+ spin-out companies created

    • 7,500+ licences and IP partnerships concluded

    • 4,000+ invention disclosures received

    • £115m+ IP and R&D revenue generated for the University

  • We are catalysts for innovation, commercialising next-generation technologies developed by The University of Manchester’s world-class research base

    • £300m+ invested by venture funders since 2004

    • 40+ spin-out companies created

    • 4,800+

      licences and IP partnerships concluded

    • 3,700+ invention disclosures received

    • 1,300+ jobs generated across various industry sectors

    • £105m+ IP and R&D revenue generated for the University

Archive for 2016

UMI3 Ltd appoints Dr. Luke Hakes as its new Chairman

Dr. Luke Hakes

Dr. Luke Hakes

The University of Manchester’s Innovation Company (UMI3 Ltd) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Luke Hakes as its new independent Chairman, following a search exercise by the University (advised by Odgers Berndtson – nationally recognised headhunters).

Luke will commence his role on 1st January 2017. A triple graduate of the University in biochemistry with biotechnology; bioinformatics; and computational genetics, Luke completed a PhD in 2006. He is currently Investment Director at venture capital firm, Octopus Ventures, based in the City of London. Over the last eight years Luke has advised and been a board member of a number of University spin-out companies. In addition he has held numerous non-executive directorships at start up and growth companies and has considerable experience of building and exiting businesses in the disruptive technology arena.

Outside of Octopus, Luke is an angel investor and advisor to a number of early stage companies with a particular interest in the Artificial Intelligence and Genomics spaces.

Dr. Hakes comments: “I am delighted to be joining UMI3 as Chairman. Universities play a hugely important role in fostering innovation and talent and nowhere is this more true than at The University of Manchester. I am incredibly excited to work with the fantastic team at UMI3 to support its continued growth and success.”

Clive Rowland, UMI3 CEO, comments: “Luke’s appointment is an important step for us as we embark on a new business plan in an exciting time of development for the University and the Northern Powerhouse. Luke’s enthusiasm for technology venturing, his commitment to help the University further enhance its standing in this area and his expertise and wide investor networks all bring a new and refreshing dimension to our approach which is crucial for our next phase.”

Luke succeeds Dr Rajagopal in the role.

F2G Ltd announces the appointment of John H. Rex as Chief Medical Officer

MANCHESTER, UK – 05 December 2016 – F2G Ltd, the UK-based antifungal drug discovery and development company, today announced the appointment of John H. Rex, MD, FACP to the position of Chief Medical Officer, effective from 2nd November 2016.

Dr Rex is a distinguished research scientist and a key opinion leader in the field of infectious disease therapy, in particular antifungal agents. He held the position of Senior Vice President and Head of Infection, Global Medicines Development at AstraZeneca until October 2016. Prior to joining AstraZeneca in 2003, Dr Rex was Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr Rex has been the Industry Representative on the US FDA Anti-Infective Drug Advisory Committee (2007-2011), has served as Chair of the Consensus Committee on Microbiology for the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI, formerly NCCLS), is a member of the Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Committee, was formerly an Editor for Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and currently serves on several editorial boards. He holds a BA in Biochemistry from Rice University as well as an MD from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Dr Rex has served as a non-executive director of F2G since September 2012 and is an Operating Partner at Advent Life Sciences.

Ian Nicholson, Chief Executive Officer, F2G Ltd commented: “John’s guidance and insight have been instrumental in shaping F2G’s development and regulatory strategy. We are delighted that he is now able to increase his commitment to the company as we progress our new class of antifungal agents into our next clinical trials.”

John Rex added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work more closely with F2G as we take the first orotomide antifungal forward through Phase 2 and Phase 3. Just as with antibacterial resistance, antifungal resistance is a growing threat and F2G’s discovery of an entirely novel class of IV/PO antifungal agent is a key part of the global response to this challenge.”

About F2G Ltd: F2G is a world-leading UK biotech company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies to treat life threatening invasive fungal infections, with experienced management & board. F2G has discovered and developed a completely new class of antifungal agents called the orotomides. The orotomides are active against Aspergillus and other rare and resistant moulds and act via a completely different mechanism than currently marketed antifungal agents. Due to their new mechanism of action, orotomides are active against fungal infections resistant to current therapies, a growing problem globally. A limited Phase II study for F901318 is planned imminently with pivotal registration trials in Invasive Aspergillosis planned for 2017 based on an accelerated regulatory pathway agreed with the relevant agencies. F901318 is being developed both as IV and oral formulations and promises to have a safe and well-tolerated profile. The company recently announced a $60 million financing to develop its pipeline of novel therapies to treat life threatening invasive fungal infections.


New Project Engineer Joins Graphene Enabled

Ushpal Thind

Ushpal Thind

Ushpal Thind, an experienced mechanical engineer, has joined Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd, The University of Manchester’s graphene and 2D materials commercialisation business.

Previously a test engineer for the micro-CHP and utilities business, Flow Products, based in Capenhurst Cheshire, Ushpal brings a wealth of experience in industrial product design and manufacturing know-how.

Ushpal will work closely with the academic teams at the University, industrial partners, suppliers and customers.  As well as being an experienced design engineer, Ushpal has an MSc in Materials Science and Engineering from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London.




Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd, which is headquartered on Grafton Street in Manchester, is owned by the University. The new company’s mission is to create a number of highly profitable ‘spin-off’ businesses based on the University’s graphene patents. The University expects that many of these future ‘spin-off’ businesses will be based in and around Manchester, creating new jobs in the region and benefiting the local economy.

Using the University’s patents and working closely with scientists, Graphene Enabled will seek out new markets for graphene-based products. Once these markets have been identified, Graphene Enabled will create high-quality product prototypes which will showcase the technology to potential industrial partners and customers.

As an important part of the University’s graphene strategy, Graphene Enabled works in close collaboration with the University’s research teams, innovation and IP groups (UMI3 and UMIP), the National Graphene Institute (NGI) and, in 2018 and beyond, the new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).

Andrew Wilkinson, Graphene Enabled’s CEO, commented: “We are very excited that Ushpal has joined us. His experience in product design and industrialisation will help to create high quality product demonstrators and prototypes capable of exciting customers in a wide range of markets and applications. In the coming months we will continue to build our engineering team, enabling us to accelerate the pace at which we bring new product concepts to market.”

For further information about Graphene Enabled, please visit our website www.graphene-enabled.com and follow us on Twitter @GrapheneEnabled.


Success for Manchester at the 2016 Northwest Bionow Awards

(From left to right: Dr Bianca Price, Professor Curtis Dobson and Dr Nishal Govindji-Bhatt)

(From left to right: Dr Bianca Price, Professor Curtis Dobson and Dr Nishal Govindji-Bhatt)

Around 400 people from the Northwest’s biomedical sector gathered on 24th November at the 15th Northwest Biomedical Awards at Mere Golf and Country Club, Cheshire. This prestigious awards dinner celebrates key achievements from companies and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the biomedical sector during 2016. The evening was hosted by comedian and broadcaster Paul Sinha, one of the stars of the ITV quiz The Chase.

University of Manchester spin-out, MicroBiosensor Ltd, won the Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Award for their InfectDetect project. The company, which spun-out of the Medical Device Biology Group in the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, has devised and manufactured a prototype simple novel antimicrobial susceptibility diagnostic to prevent hospital admission due to urinary tract infection. The new project, led by Dr Nishal-Govindji-Bhatt and Dr Duncan Henderson, should provide appreciable savings to the NHS, impact the rise of antimicrobial resistance, as well as reduce suffering in vulnerable clinical populations. The award was sponsored by TRUSTECH.

Professor Curtis Dobson, Chairman and Founder of MicroBiosensor, comments: ”It was fantastic news for Microbiosensor to win this Award, which recognises the dramatic progress we have made this year in developing a second product featuring our exciting proprietary technology. Microbiosensor now has two high quality products nearing a CE Mark, and these are poised to have a major global impact, both delivering significant savings for the healthcare providers and improving patient outcomes.”

University of Manchester Research Fellow Dr Bianca Price (who is also based in the Medical Device Biology Group) won the Bionow Promising Technologist of the Year Award for her work in creating an innovative ‘infected wound in a dish’. The model has evaluated anti-infective products from different industrial collaborators, including a novel wound filler and antimicrobial dressings. The award was sponsored by Seqirus.

Dr Price comments: “It is wonderful to be acknowledged for innovative work that has real world impact in this way. The model developed in the Medical Device Biology Group has generated lots of interest in the wound care sector as a relevant way to test movement and efficacy of antimicrobials released from medical devices. We will continue to develop and apply this model as well as other complimentary approaches over the coming years.”

Congratulations also go to colleagues at the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network for winning the Bionow Business Services Award, sponsored by Skills and Growth Company.

To cap the night off, University spin-out, F2G Ltd, won the Bionow Investment Deal of the Year Award for their $60M financing round. F2G is an established Manchester-based specialist antifungal company developing a completely new class of antifungal agents to treat life threatening invasive fungal infections. The award was sponsored by QIAGEN Manchester.

The complete list of winners is as follows:

The 2016 winners are:

  • Bionow Start Up of the Year Award – Aptus Clinical – Sponsored by RSM
  • Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Award – MicroBiosensor – Sponsored by TRUSTECH
  • Bionow Project of the Year Award – Cobra Biologics- Sponsored by Waters Corporation
  • Bionow Product of the Year Award – Magnesium Elektron – Sponsored by Innovation Agency
  • Bionow Technical Service Award – Perfectus Biomed – Sponsored by Appleyard Lees
  • Bionow Business Services Award – Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network – Sponsored by Skills and Growth Company
  • Bionow Promising Technologist of the Year Award – Dr Bianca Price – Sponsored by Seqirus
  • Bionow Investment Deal of the Year Award – F2G Ltd – Sponsored by QIAGEN Manchester
  • Bionow Outstanding Contribution Award – Alan Boyd- -Sponsored by Sci-Tech Daresbury
  • Bionow Company of the Year Award – Shield Therapeutics – Sponsored by AstraZeneca

For more information about Bionow, please visit www.bionow.co.uk

The Bionow Awards Dinner was sponsored by Manchester Science Partnerships, Appleyard Lees, CY Partners, Redx Pharma and World Courier.

AMBS Ignition Funding Opportunity- Now Open

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We are seeking to inspire the next generation of individuals or teams with entrepreneurial ideas:

  • Are you currently working or studying at AMBS or a recent graduate?
  • Is your idea likely to be an entrepreneurial or innovative solution to a business, societal or environmental problem?


Funding from £500 – £2000 is available, for individuals to try out or grow their entrepreneurial ideas. This might mean finding out if your idea is viable, learning more about what is needed to develop the idea by testing the project on a small scale, right through to more robust road-testing of the idea. We also provide one to one support to assist you with your applications and informative workshops for successful applicants.


The funding opportunity provided by UMIP and MEC is open to all AMBS members of staff, research students (inc. DBA, MBA) and recent graduates (graduated within the last 2 years).

Key Dates:

  • Closing date for applications is Friday 20th January 2017
  • Successful applicants will be informed by Friday 3rd February 2017

Contact ignitionawards@umip.com * for further information and to receive an application form

*Please provide your full contact details, job title or student status and a brief outline of your idea