• 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

Author Archive

Gentronix Agrees Genotoxicity Safety Screening Agreement With GSK for GreenScreen HC

Gentronix Limited, a company spun-out of The University of Manchester by its technology transfer company UMIP, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to provide GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with its novel genotoxicity detection assay GreenScreen HC.

GreenScreen HC is the first human cell based assay technology that combines high sensitivity for detecting genotoxic chemicals with high specificity for reducing false positive results. The assay is amenable to high throughput screening, provides additional data for safety profiling, consumes very low quantities of compound and gives rapid results.

The proprietary reporter based assay detects all known classes of genotoxic agent and utilizes Green Fluorescent Protein in order to detect GADD-45a up-regulation which is a key indicator of DNA damage.
John Nicholson, CEO and Chairman of Gentronix said ‘we have worked with GSK previously on the early validation of our technology and are delighted that they will be incorporating GreenScreen HC into their safety evaluation activities. This agreement provides important validation of our technology and demonstrates the value we bring to our customers.’

Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

About Gentronix:
Gentronix provides services and solutions that help companies reduce attrition rates and ensure safer products across a wide range of chemistry driven industries. Our primary focus is on providing better hazard identification assays for genotoxicity through use of GreenScreen(R) human cell assay technology. GreenScreen HC and HC S9 assays are designed for use much earlier in drug and compound discovery than the standard battery of genotoxicity tests and provide positive results that are more accurately predictive of in vivo risk than the current in vitro mammalian assays. To find out more about our products and services please visit our website www.gentronix.co.uk or contact us at info@gentronix.co.uk

Nanoco Tech plc Goes Public

AIM-Listed Evolutec Group plc has announced the proposed acquisition of Nanoco Tech Public Limited Company, a nanotechnology company based in Manchester. Once the acquisition is approved by shareholders, the enlarged group will be known as Nanoco Group plc and have a market capitalisation of approximately £38.6 million. The Acquisition constitutes a reverse takeover.

Nanoco is a leading nanotechnology company involved in the development and manufacture of fluorescent semi-conducting materials called quantum dots.

Quantum dots are a platform technology with uses in a wide range of sectors from life sciences through to solid state lighting, solar energy and next generation displays. Quantum dot based applications have the ability to potentially offer significant benefits in performance and energy savings compared to those materials currently used in these industry sectors.

Zeus Capital, the Manchester based investment bank, acted as financial adviser to Evolutec and will continue to act as Nominated Adviser to the enlarged group post acquisition.
Nanoco’s chief executive Dr Michael Edelman said: “This acquisition represents the next milestone in Nanoco’s rapid development.”

“Nanoco has grown by focusing its efforts on the development and mass production of high performance quantum dots and working to get these exciting materials into the market by partnering with strategic quantum dot application developers around the world.”

“Admission to the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange allows the company to continue to further strengthen its shareholder base and balance sheet and gives Nanoco the resources needed to meet the growing demand for its products.”

Nanoco was founded in 2001 by two academics from Manchester University – Professor Paul O’Brien and Dr Nigel Pickett – to advance the development of quantum dots.

Nanoco’s business strategy is to work in partnership with quantum dot application developers. These application developers tend to be large global technology companies working to incorporate quantum dots into a specific end use application. Examples of these applications include quantum dot containing LEDs, displays and solar cells.

For further enquires please contact:

Zeus Capital: +44 (0) 161 831 1512
Richard Hughes

Nanoco Group plc: +44 (0) 161 603 7900
Michael Edelman

UMIP welcomes its new Director of Entrepreneurship

UMIP is pleased to announce the appointment of Imran Hakim as its Director of Entrepreneurship.

Imran – The Institute of Directors ’ Young Director of the Year, 2008 – will be working with UMIP to enhance the University’s spin-out company and licensing activities and to encourage intellectual property entrepreneurship at the University.

A graduate of the University and an optometrist by profession, he runs a successful group of independent practices in the North West . He has also run a separate and diverse portfolio of businesses and projects since the age of 16. His interests run from turning around loss making companies to negotiating complex licensing agreements.

He became nationally known as one of the most successful winners of investment on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den working with Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis. His innovative iTeddy product – which has already generated millions is now available in over 40 countries worldwide.

Imran said that his developing interests in investing capital into start-up companies and in raising the profile of entrepreneurship in Britain makes the appointment a perfect match for him.

“I will be continuing with my existing business portfolio but I am enthusiastic about working with UMIP”, he said. “The University already has an excellent track record for innovation and commercialising world-class science and technology, so I’m proud to be associated with my old University in this way and excited by the challenge. There are already some fantastic, groundbreaking innovations on the horizon at a time when our economy needs it more than ever so I’m very positive about the contribution I can bring.”

Clive Rowland, Chief Executive of UMIP, said that he was delighted that Imran had agreed to accept the appointment. “I’m really looking forward to it”, says Clive. “Imran will add a creative and effervescent dimension to our mission – he typifies all that is admirable about entrepreneurship – he has energy in abundance, great persistence and commitment and the knack of getting things done in a way that others don’t spot or think is possible.”

About Imran Hakim
What many people don’t realise is that Imran’s business experience began long before he entered the Dragon’s Den. An optometrist by profession, Imran runs a successful chain of independent practices in and around the Northwest. Having run his own business since he was 16, he has extensive first-hand experience of a wide range of business sectors.

Nowadays, as well as working on the iTeddy business, Imran controls a diverse portfolio which includes a lens laboratory, spectacle frame distribution business, optical retail outlets, as well as both management and recruitment companies.

He has won countless business awards over the years in recognition of his numerous endeavours including North West Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 and Fusion Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 and most recently a Mosaic Award for Science and Technology from HRH Prince of Wales. His work on the iTeddy brand has earned him several awards including; Toy Inventor of the Year 2007, Young emerging Talent 2008, World Toy Innovation 2008, Start-up Business of the Year 2008 and IOD’s Northwest Young Director of the Year 2008.

Arvia Technology appoints new CEO

MTI announces the appointment of Martin Keighley as CEO of its portfolio company, Arvia Technology Ltd (‘Arvia’), to drive the commercialisation of the business and build the management team.

Prior to joining Arvia Martin Keighley was European Managing Director for Tata Chemicals / Brunner Mond.

Arvia has developed a low cost and low maintenance process for the removal of micro pollutants from water and is a spin-out company from the University of Manchester’s School of Chemical Engineering.

The UMIP Premier Fund (UPF) and Alliance Fund Managers (AFM) invested £800,000 in Arvia in September 2008, which enabled the Company to undertake commercial trials at customer sites validating Arvia’s technology. On completion of the commercial trials the Company will be aiming to have in place the necessary management team to enable Arvia’s products to go into full scale commercial delivery.

The UMIP Premier Fund was established in 2008 with the objective of providing late seed capital to spin-out companies primarily from the University of Manchester that have promising new technology. MTI is the manger of the UPF and has made three investments since its launch. With offices in the UK and the US, MTI possesses a wealth of experience in technology investing.

Commenting on today’s announcement, MTI Managing Partner, David Ward said:
“The ability to attract world class business talent underlines the quality of UPF investments and its dealflow. Arvia has just taken a significant step forward.”

Manchester success at 7th Annual Bionow Awards!

Manchester enjoyed great success at the 7th Northwest Biomedical Awards Dinner held on the 3rd December at the Mere Golf and Country Club, Cheshire. Representatives from both UMIP and UMIC were delighted as spin-outs and projects from The University of Manchester scooped a selection of prizes ranging from £1000 to management strategy sessions with Pannone LLP.

The awards were presented as follows:

1. Biomedical Project of the Year – won by Dr Neil Gibbs and Prof Chris Griffiths for CURAPEL – the development of a novel treatment for inflammatory skin diseases, funded by UMIP's Proof of Principle Fund.

2. Promising BioMedical Technologist of the Year – won by Dr Goldspink from RENOVO – a University of Manchester spin-out located in UMIC's Core Technology Facility.

3. Biomedical start up of the year – won by CONFORMETRIX with PHAGENESIS as runner up. Both University of Manchester spin-outs. CONFORMETRIX, located in UMIC's Core Technology Facility, can rapidly determine highly accurate and biologically-relevant (aqueous) 3D and 4D structures of any small soluble molecule.

4. Healthcare Project of the Year – won by Manchester Central Healthcare Trust

5. Emerging Technology Project of the Year – won by Prof Geoff Parker, ISBE and the Wolfson Molecular Imaging centre, for his Oxygen MRI project (diagnosis of lung diseases). The project was funded by UMIP's Proof of Principle Fund.

6. Biomedical Company of the Year – won by DxS Diagnostics located at UMIC's Manchester Biocience Incubator.