UCL spinout takes nano-enabled pain therapy to international markets

20 February 2012

The UK Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) has announced that member company Nanomerics, a spin-out from UCL School of Pharmacy, is taking its patented nano-enabled therapeutic technology to international markets.

Presenting at NanoKTN events and attending NanoKTN’s international missions, has enabled Nanomerics to spin-out and find commercial partners for its peptide pill therapeutics products and secure funding to further develop its pain therapeutic technologies.

Founding scientist at Nanomerics, Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu first presented UCL School of Pharmacy’s pain therapeutics technology at the NanoKTN’s annual Nano4Life event, which discusses the convergence of nanotechnology with the life science industry, and used the event to demonstrate how nanotechnology can be exploited to produce better pain therapies.

Following the successful Nano4Life event, Professor Uchegbu was invited as part of the NanoKTN delegation to the BioPharm America conference in Boston, USA. Professor Uchegbu comments, “The interest at the Nano4Life event and the inspiration and support given by the NanoKTN, gave us the push to register the company and spin out the technology projects into Nanomerics and take this vehicle to BioPharm America in search of potential collaboration partners and funding for further product development.”

At BioPharm America, Nanomerics met with a number of interested parties, resulting in a formal agreement with a US drug company already working in the pain market and secured further funding via an award from the Technology Strategy Board/EPRSC to look into developing its own pain product, a nanotechnology enabled Peptide Pill called METDoloron. METDoloron is an oral analgesic based on an endogenous peptide and allows treatment of severe chronic pain as a 'Peptide Pill' using Nanomerics' MET technology.

Professor Uchegbu explains, “Working with the NanoKTN has provided us with unique networking opportunities and a platform to find collaboration partners to market our nanotechnology pain solutions to a global audience and to develop new pain therapeutic solutions. Collaborating with US partners on projects, we hope that a formulation will progress into clinical trials.”

Nanomerics now has a business model focused on two main objectives: to partner with companies to solve their individual pharmacological problems using Nanomerics’ nanotechnology and to also continue to develop its own pain therapeutic products.

Nanomerics recently announced the success of its funding bid to the Technology Strategy Board and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). A Nanomerics led consortium including the UCL School of Pharmacy, AMTechnology Ltd, and the University of Exeter, was one of only seven business-led projects nationally to be supported by the £6.5m of funding provided by the Technology Strategy Board and the EPSRC to develop therapeutic agents and diagnostics where nanoscale technologies are at the heart of the innovation.

Andreas Schätzlein, Nanomerics co-founder and CEO said, “Early engagement with industry has been essential in shaping the development of our technologies from the start. However, accessing the global market with the help of NanoKTN and others has been essential in finding the right partners to take the technology forward in a product focused fashion.”

“Nanomerics is an excellent example of a UK company taking a successful technology developed at UK universities and taking it to a global market. We are delighted to have played a part in the success of Nanomerics and look forward to continuing to support the company as it grows.” added Dr Mike Fisher, Healthcare & Life Sciences Theme Manager at the NanoKTN. “


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