Elderly population’s eye health to improve following launch of University of Manchester spin-out MuMac

A University of Manchester spin-out company, which has created a ‘unique’ optical technology for the rapid screening of eye diseases in a bid to improve the health of a growing and ageing population, is raising finance for the market launch of its first product and to support its R&D activities in ophthalmology diagnostics.

MuMac, a Manchester-based technology research and development company, is ready to commercialise the RapiDA instrument, which provides a fast test that can detect early-stage Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – often before any obvious biological changes can be detected with imaging devices.

AMD is a medical condition which may result in blurred or no vision and it can affect vision in low light levels such as night driving. At the early onset of AMD there are often no symptoms. As AMD progresses, however, some people experience a gradual worsening of vision.

Dry AMD is the most common type of AMD and it is caused by aging and the thinning of tissues of the Macula region of the eye.

MuMac Chief Executive Dennis Camilleri says investment will allow its three founders to scale-up the RapiDA and start trading with opticians on the high street as well as hospital clinics within weeks.

He also said MuMac’s R&D pipeline should result in a number of other instruments being created for a range of eye tests.

Dennis said: “People are now living longer and AMD is right up there in causing vision impairment in certain age groups, with around 2.5 million sufferers in the UK alone. Globally it is forecast that nearly 200 million people will have AMD by 2020.

“MuMac, which follows years of research by founding University academics Dr Ian Murray, now MuMac chief scientific officer and Dr Jeremiah Kelly and David Carden, is meeting a healthcare need through the launch of RapiDA.

“The product, which is patented and has its IP, is small, user-friendly and can perform a screening and identify early-stage AMD in 5-10 minutes.”

Former physicist and optical engineer Dennis, who has managed technology start-ups through to exit stage over the past 35 years, added: “It’s estimated that 200,000 ophthalmologists and optometrists are potential users of the RapiDA.

“On top of that, the ophthalmic diagnostics market is forecast to grow to US$3.6 billion by the end of 2025.

“All this makes it a very exciting time for MuMac and our RapiDA product.

“There are of course competing technologies for all sorts of retinal diseases, but ours for AMD is fast and accurate.

“It’s also small and affordable, which is very important, as the first question optometrists always ask is how big the product is because space in their retail outlets is very much at a premium.”

Following investment MuMac will finish off the RapiDA design for manufacture, then start marketing and selling the product to end-users.

UMI3 Ltd, The University of Manchester’s agent for technology transfer, has supported the research over the past three years and will soon transfer all the IP into the company.

For further information, please see http://www.mumacltd.com


Nanomedicine lecture series: Nanotechnology in neurology and neurosciences, Thursday, 9 November 2017

Our second lecture in the nanomedicine lecture series, to be held on Thursday, 9 November 2017 in UMIC’s Core Technology Facility Dalton Room, will focus on nanotechnology in neurology and neurosciences, exploring the bridge between technology and neuroscience.

Keynote speakers:

The following pre-eminent global leaders in biomedical science will be keynote speakers at this event:

  • Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester
  • Professor Ed Boyden, Associate Professor, Media Lab and McGovern Institute, Departments of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences Co-Director, MIT Centre for Neurobiological Engineering
  • Professor John Hardy, University College London


Please register via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nanomednetwork-lecture-series-2-nanotechnology-in-neurologyneurosciences-tickets-34568005836

Please contact Sarah Barton (sarah.barton@manchester.ac.uk) in the FBMH Strategic Funding Team with any queries.

About the NanoMed Network:

The University of Manchester NanoMed Network is a cross-faculty interdisciplinary network that aims to facilitate the exploitation of novel nanomaterials and nanotechnologies, such as graphene and other 2D materials, in order to provide solutions for unmet clinical challenges.

NanoMed Network website.

How to secure impact from your research by protecting and exploiting intellectual property

Monday 26th June 2017

12.00pm -1.30pm (inc. buffet lunch)

Joule Suite, CTF Building, Grafton Street

Come along and hear about the different ways in which the intellectual property arising from your research can be protected, and the routes by which this can enable huge commercial, social or health impacts to be secured. Engage with an expert panel of lawyers, patent agents and business development executives to find out:

  • How and why patents are used as a tool to create economic value from research.
  • After filing a patent application what comes next?
  • How to decide whether impact should be secured through a new company, or under license to existing companies.
  • How to work with the confidentiality requirements
  • of the patenting system to ensure your publication record is not affected.
  • Other mechanisms to protect your intellectual property, beyond the patenting system.
  • How a REF impact case can be built from exploiting intellectual property

Please register here

The Panel consists of:

Jonathan Moakes

Gateley Plc

Judith Gracey


Exchange and

Impact Coordinator (UoM)

Richard Young


Andrew Wells


Ean Davies

Appleyard Lees

The Bioscience Translation Challenge

You are invited to attend a half-day event called “The Bioscience Translation Challenge” that will take the form of a panel discussion on the challenges of commercialising science.

When: 22nd June, 2017 (10:00-12:00 followed by lunch and networking)

Where: Kendrew Lecture Theatre, EBI. Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre

Host: BioData Innovation Centre

Panel members include:
Dr Uday Phadke, Cartezia, Cambridge, UK
Dr Shai Vyakarnam, Bettany Centre, Cranfield University, UK
Dr Adrian Ibrahim, Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK
Dr Martino Picardo, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, UK
Dr Robert Tansley, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Cambridge, UK

Why attend? Network with bioscience start-ups, high growth firms, R&D organisations, service providers and investors active in this field and gain a deeper understanding of how to translate research and development into products and services of commercial and societal value.

Spaces are limited, so you if you are interested in attending, please REGISTER ONLINE NOW to avoid disappointment.

University of Manchester skin specialist spin-out AIMs high with £4.5M float

skinbio logo



Skin health company, SkinBioTherapeutics, a University of Manchester spin-out, will focus on developing and commercialising its SkinBiotix® technology platform after making a stunning debut on the London stock market.

The life sciences company raised £4.5 million on AIM last week. The funds raised will enable it to drive forward its development portfolio of three programmes – in skin care (sensitive skin), anti-infection and eczema. Due to size of the target markets (multi-billion $), the Company will seek to license out its programmes at an early stage to bigger companies with the specialism and resource to commercialise them.

Spun out of The University of Manchester by its Innovation Company UMI3 Ltd in April 2016, SkinBioTherapeutics was formed around the scientific discoveries coming from the work performed by University researchers Dr. Catherine O’Neill and Professor Andrew McBain.

SkinBioTherapeutics uses extracts of probiotic bacteria that in skin models have been shown to increase the skin’s barrier integrity to retain moisture better, protect the skin from infection and to increase the rate of skin healing in response to injury.

Dr. Catherine O'Neill - HeadshotChief executive Dr Catherine O’Neill, said: “Listing on AIM is a significant milestone for SkinBioTherapeutics and will give us the visibility we need amongst the established global players we are looking to partner with.

“The funds raised will enable us to accelerate the clinical development of our main therapeutic candidates and to progress the SkinBiotix® technology platform.

“This is an exciting time to be in the microbiome space, especially with regards to skin health. We have an experienced team and Board, plus the financial and shareholder support to maximise this opportunity.”

Dr Rich Ferrie of UMI3 said: “I am delighted that SkinBioTherapeutics has been admitted to AIM. Our team has worked closely with Cath and Andrew to prime the intellectual property arising from their exciting research for commercialisation.

“I am sure the SkinBiotix® platform will give rise to many important products in the skin health area and I look forward to the future success of SkinBioTherapeutics plc.”

Find out more about SkinBioTherapeutics at www.skinbiotherapeutics.com

The images show human skin which has been stained with a green dye to visualise a protein, critical to skin function as a barrier between the body and the environment. The level of this protein increases dramatically following treatment with a particular bacterium (compare ‘treated’ with ‘untreated’)




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