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New Spin-Out: Nanotether Discovery Sciences

Posted in: News on 02,Aug,2012

A new spinout company, Nanotether Discovery Services Limited (“Nanotether”), has been formed by Cardiff University and Fusion IP.

Nanotether is founded on the invention of three professors from Cardiff University – Professor Trevor Dale, Professor Adrian Harwood and Professor Paola Borri from the School of Biosciences. Their breakthrough has the potential to revolutionise drug discovery by miniaturising and accelerating the rate at which interactions between proteins and drug candidates can be studied for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets.

In recent years there has been an explosion of biological information resulting from the use of high-throughput biological sensor technologies. Each of these techniques has resulted in the creation of new analytical and diagnostic markets worth billions of dollars annually. However when each new technique is introduced, bottlenecks are created at the interface between one approach and the next and one of the key bottlenecks is biochemical quantification.

Biochemical quantification can take several months to determine using current technology, mainly due to the time taken to produce and purify proteins for assays. Nanotether’s technology aims to break this biochemical bottleneck by being the first company to develop truly high throughput quantitative binding assays for the protein interaction market.

Nanotether has raised £2.25m funding in committed funding that will cover the company’s technology development over the next 27 months. These funds are to be made available in three tranches, the first of which is £850k. The lead investor in the round is Andrew Black, who invests in early stage biotechnology and is well known for his role in setting up Betfair Plc.

Fusion’s shareholding is 21% at the end of the first investment tranche and, if Fusion chooses not to invest further and the full £2.25m is invested, Fusion’s shareholding will be 10.5%.

Andrew Black commented:

“’I’m delighted see this revolutionary technology enter the next major phase of its development. Nanotether has a truly disruptive potential and there is already a high level of industry interest” 

David Baynes, Chief Executive Officer of Fusion IP, said:

“This is another example of Cardiff University’s world class research and we look forward to working with the team, as they develop this ground-breaking IP. The potential of the technology to increase the rate of screening by 100 fold and reduce the amount of material required by 1,000 fold is very exciting and clearly demonstrates that this technique could revolutionise drug discovery.”