Lung imaging technology attracts UPF investment

The UMIP Premier Fund has invested an undisclosed amount in University of Manchester medical technology spin-out BiOxyDyn.

The company, based in the unviersity’s Core Technology Facility, has developed an innovative new approach to 3D lung imaging.

It uses an enhanced form of magnetic resonance imaging which exposes the patient to zero radiation compared to a CT scan, where the dose can be the equivalent of up to 100 chest x-rays.

BiOxyDyn hopes that this will play a major role in the diagnosis and monitoring of two prominent conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

COPD is projected to become the 4th leading cause of death worldwide by 2030 , while asthma affects 6.5 per cent of the British population.

The investment is managed by Watford-based MTI Partners, which runs the UMIP Premier Fund. In January it invested £250,000 in Ai2, another University of Manchester spin-out.

BiOxyDyn is in talks with a major pharmaceutical company which has recognised the benefits of reliable imaging technology in improved monitoring of the effect of new drugs in clinical trials.

MTI’S Mark Rahn said: “We’re delighted to have completed the investment in BiOxyDyn. It’s clear that the USP’s of their product will prove instantly attractive to the market as high quality lung imaging is currently very poorly served and lung diseases and disorders are so commonplace.”

“We’re also pleased to have managed another med-tech investment in a University of Manchester spin-out, further highlighting its status as a leader in that field.”

Prof. Geoff Parker, one of BiOxyDyn’s directors, said: “Although we can’t go public on the exact size of this deal, the timing of the investment couldn’t be better. There currently simply isn’t an inexpensive or practical 3D lung imaging technique available that can capture the structure and function of the lung, so we feel we’ve got something the market will want quickly.”

Prof. Parker continues: “We’ve had some exciting interest from a major pharmaceutical player, so the race is on to continue developing our products and engage with the market.”

The UMIP Premier Fund makes late-seed stage investments, in a total of 15 – 20 companies, initially in the £250,000 to £750,000 range, with a view to following up with a further investment of up to £3m.

UMIP and MIMIT appoint David Maddison as Designer-in-Residence

UMIP, The University of Manchester’s IP commercialisation company and Manchester Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology (MIMIT) have together appointed consultant David Maddison as Designer-in-Residence. UMIP identifies, protects and commercialises innovative ideas from the University’s 5 star research base and David will be providing product design expertise to complement this commercialisation process.

The University of Manchester and Greater Manchester NHS and Primary Care Trusts have joined forces to create MIMIT™ – a new and exciting initiative which facilitates collaborations between clinicians, scientists, engineers and industry to develop innovative technology for patient benefit.

David’s company, Maddison Limited, is a leading strategic product design and development consultancy which specialises in medical, scientific, and electronic products. The company works with global corporations, SMEs, start-up and spin-out companies, public sector organisations, universities and technology transfer enterprises, to design, develop and commercialise technology.

Maddison Ltd has already worked on design aspects of two inventions for UMIP. David comments: “Maddison Ltd has enjoyed a very successful working relationship with UMIP on past projects, helping to raise the value of its IP and speed up the process of commercialisation. I am delighted with the exciting opportunities that this appointment offers and look forward to adding our skills and experience to this talented team.”

Clive Rowland, UMIP’s CEO, said that he was pleased that David had agreed to accept the appointment. “We are very much looking forward to working with David and his team. Maddison Ltd’s expertise will add significant value to our spin-outs’ technologies through informed design and, for our licence propositions, will reduce much of the work necessary to meet specifications, standards and anticipated uses.”

Jackie Oldham, Director of MIMIT said: “This appointment is great news. David and his team will be able to advise on many aspects of product design and thereby enhance the innovation development pathway.”

UMIC & UMIP host successful BBSRC workshop for young academic entrepreneurs

UMIC and UMIP co- hosted a BBSRC–sponsored workshop on the morning of the April 21st at the Core Technology Facility. The event focused on informing young academic entrepreneurs of potential careers in start-up businesses particularly in the Life Sciences and Environmental business sectors. In addition, the organisations were preparing potential academic candidates at the post-graduate stages of their careers to enter the BBSRC-sponsored YES events; the NWEST regional final is held in Manchester, in November.

Prof. John Peberdy (Emeritus Professor, University of Nottingham) presented the process and benefit of entering the Biotech YES event to students. “Deciding on a career may be seen as challenging by PhD students and early-stage researchers in the Biosciences because of their limited awareness of the opportunities outside of academia. Biotechnology YES, a national competition for these young scientists, provides an opportunity for learn about the process of commercialisation of scientific discoveries and in so doing come to understand the wealth of potential jobs that they might seek,” John commented.

Over 75 people registered and the event was both vibrant and informative. “With such a good turnout, and with the quality of presenters, it was always going to be a great event. In addition, the level of discussion around improvements that could be made to the process of linking Incubation and Technology Transfer to young entrepreneurs in the University was most helpful,” said Martino Picardo, UMIC’s managing director. “I particularly felt the presentations by Curtis Dobson (AI2 Ltd and academic), Rod Benson (CEO Imagen Biotech, ex Astra Zeneca and academia) and Laura Lennox (former Biotech Yes applicant and now Business Development Manager, Epistem Ltd) were of great value in presenting the opportunities for graduates and post-graduates.

We now anticipate strong representation from the local Universities at the Regional Biotech YES event in November and we are grateful to the BBSRC for their continued support of our activities in this area. We look forward to the Regional Biotech YES event in November and to hosting a workshop for more senior academics in the November time-frame also.”

UMIP appoints Dr. Krishnamurthy Rajagopal as its new Chairman

Following a search exercise by the UMIP Board (advised by Odgers Berndtson – nationally recognised headhunters), The University of Manchester’s award-winning Intellectual Property commercialisation company (UMIP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Krishnamurthy Rajagopal as its new Chairman.

Raj will commence his role on 1 May 2010. An alumnus of The University of Manchester, Raj completed his MSc in 1975 and his PhD in 1980 and has considerable experience of world-class manufacturing, engineering and technology; he is currently a non-executive director at: Bodycote plc, Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, WS Atkins plc and is Chairman of HHV Pumps Ltd, a private company based in Bangalore, India.

Raj is a member of the Council of Science and Technology, the Prime Ministerial advisory body, and plays an active role in Government science and innovation policy and is an Audit Commissioner. He is also an advisory board member at the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by Cranfield University in 2004.

Over the last 5 years, UMIP has set up 20 spin-out companies employing several hundred people whose annual combined sales turnover is £17M and has concluded 150 new licences and assignments. In 2009, UMIP won two awards for the commercialisation of new technologies from The University of Manchester: a PraxisUnico Business Impact Award and Technology Transfer Office of the Year Award which was presented at the annual Genesis Biotech Conference.

Raj commented: “I am very pleased to accept my new role at UMIP. The University already has an excellent track record in innovation and entrepreneurship, with many successful spin-out companies and a healthy and developing licensing business; I am looking forward to helping to raise the University’s outstanding reputation for entrepreneurship further.”

Clive Rowland, UMIP’s CEO, said that he was delighted that Raj had agreed to accept the appointment. “We are very much looking forward to working with Raj and I am sure that Raj’s appointment and contributions will be an important step in and big benefit to UMIP’s development on its path to 2015, and beyond.”

Raj takes over from Peter Sanderson who will retire from UMIP at the end of
April, having served the maximum of two full terms of three years for a non executive Chairman. Peter co-founded the company with CEO Clive Rowland during the summer of 2004.

2010 World IP Day – 10th Anniversary

World Intellectual Property Day – April 26th 2010

Most people are aware of intellectual property (IP) – of copyright, patents, industrial designs and trademarks. However, many still view these as business or legal concepts with little relevance to their own lives. To address this gap, WIPO’s Member States decided in 2000 to designate an annual World Intellectual Property Day. They chose April 26, the date on which the Convention establishing WIPO originally entered into force in 1970.

Each year, WIPO and its Member States celebrate World Intellectual Property Day with activities, events and campaigns.These seek to increase public understanding of what IP really means, and to demonstrate how the IP system fosters not only music, arts and entertainments, but also all the products and technological innovations that help to shape our world.

WIPO issues a message from the Director General each year, broadcasts a short publicity spot on international television channels, and dispatches posters and other promotional materials to IP offices and organisations.

The aims of World IP Day are:

to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life;
to increase understanding of how protecting IP rights helps promote creativity and innovation;
to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe;
to encourage respect for the IP rights of others.
For further information, pelase visit the WIPO website at www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/2010/

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