Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, "Innovations", or "the Group), the UK's leading technology commercialisation and investment company, announces that two of its portfolio companies have won significant funding from the government-backed Biomedical Catalyst Awards. IXICO, a leading medical imaging company, and PsiOxus, a development stage biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for cancer and other clinically unmet diseases, will receive £2.1m and £1.7m respectively to accelerate the translation of scientific ideas into commercial propositions.
IXICO will lead a project to develop a novel digital healthcare platform which provides earlier and more accurate diagnosis of dementia by opening up advanced investigative techniques usually only available in specialist centres to doctors diagnosing all patients. World-class computer-based tests of memory and thinking will be combined with computerised analysis of MRI brain scans to yield automated and accurate diagnostic reports that lead to rapid treatment and support for people with dementia and their carers. The three-year collaborative project aims to demonstrate that time to diagnosis of dementia can be reduced by 15 months and bring diagnosis rates closer to the Prime Minister's Dementia Challenge target rate of 80%. IXICO will work alongside Cambridge Cognition, a leading UK developer of neuropsychological tests, and their project partners at King's College London, University of Sussex and Imperial College London.
PsiOxus will initiate a phase I/II clinical trial to assess the use of its ColoAd1 oncolytic vaccine in the treatment of platinum-resistant, recurrent ovarian cancer. The OCTAVE (Ovarian Cancer Treated with Adeno Virus) study will be the second clinical trial of ColoAd1, a highly potent, broad spectrum anticancer therapeutic capable of selectively destroying tumour cells at minute concentrations. The study will assess over 50 ovarian cancer patients and will be carried out at multiple UK cancer centres beginning in 2013. Professor Iain McNeish, from the Institute of Cancer Sciences at the University of Glasgow, is Principal Investigator.
In addition to the funding for PsiOxus and IXICO, a further Innovations portfolio company, Photobiotics, a multidisciplinary biotechnology company developing technologies to target drugs directly at tumours, received a smaller award from the Biomedical Catalyst earlier in the year.
The government-backed Biomedical Catalyst is a £180 million funding programme for businesses and academics in the life sciences sector which is managed jointly by the Technology Strategy Board and the Medical Research Council. As part of this round of funding, grants totaling over £39 million have been awarded to over 30 projects led by SMEs and universities to accelerate the development of innovative solutions to healthcare challenges.
Susan Searle, Innovations' CEO, said:
"The Biomedical Catalyst is an enterprising government initiative that will provide significant leverage to companies developing important medical technologies with the potential to greatly improve patients' lives. We are delighted that our portfolio companies have received a strong endorsement from the programme, and the funding they receive will allow them to accelerate development and enter the market more quickly."
Derek Hill, CEO of IXICO, said:
"There is an urgent need for scalable, high quality ways of making a timely diagnosis of dementia, enabling patients and their carers rapid access to the right treatments and support. Through the receipt of this funding award, we will be able to demonstrate an approach that will provide high quality information to underpin rapid diagnosis of dementia."
John Beadle, CEO of PsiOxus, said:
"Matched funding such as that provided by the Biomedical Catalyst is critical to help boost the UK life science sector and early stage biotechnology companies such as PsiOxus. This grant will enable PsiOxus to examine ColoAd1 in a second form of metastatic cancer, thus demonstrating its potential as a broad spectrum anti-cancer therapeutic."
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Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer
Diana Crisp, PR Manager
John Beadle, Chief Executive Officer
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Derek Hill, Chief Executive Officer
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Notes to editors
Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise.
Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:
Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London; and Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL supported by its collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK's leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.
By raising £140 million in January 2011, Innovations has been able to accelerate the making of, and increase the size of its investments. In the year to 31 July 2012, Innovations invested £37.9 million (2011: £35.1 million) in 29 ventures, and made 11 investments in new companies.
In its current portfolio of 78 companies, Innovations' most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative treatments for a wide range of allergies; and Nexeon, a battery materials and licensing company which develops silicon anodes which extend the life and increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries.
IXICO - www.ixico.com
IXICO Ltd is a leading medical imaging company that provides software solutions and services to deliver imaging biomarkers in clinical trials, research studies and health care diagnostics.
IXICO's clinical trial technologies include its TrialWire™ electronic data transfer portal and its TrialTracker™ Image Management System. This technology optimises imaging trial workflows and ensures regulatory compliant image handling for clinical trials. It also provides a platform for imaging informatics and is deployed at major UK academic institutions. IXICO's quantitative brain image analysis platform quantifies brain atrophy for research purposes, and pending medical device approval, provides a decision support tool for the diagnosis of dementia within the EU. This technology can transform the diagnostic process in healthcare and enable health care providers to offer better care to patients and their families by identifying people at risk of developing disease and monitoring disease progression. IXICO is committed to developing solutions for the diagnosis of dementia and other neurological diseases as stand-alone tools and in combination with other technologies.
As a full service Imaging Contract Research Organisation (ICRO), IXICO offers comprehensive capabilities with global reach predominantly in the CNS, Oncology and Musculoskeletal fields and across all major imaging modalities. IXICO provides a variety of central assessments that can be used as imaging endpoints in clinical trials to assess subject eligibility and drug safety and efficacy, and has designed its systems to address the critical areas of imaging in clinical trials from data acquisition to image analysis and reporting.
PsiOxus Therapeutics - www.psioxus.com
PsiOxus Therapeutics is an Oxford, UK-based development stage biotechnology company using non-traditional approaches to develop novel therapeutics that address cancer and other clinically unmet diseases. ColoAd1 is an oncolytic vaccine for the systemic treatment of metastatic cancer, which has demonstrated exceptional anti-cancer properties in late pre-clinical development and is now in phase I clinical development. MT-102 is a dual action Anabolic Catabolic Transforming Agent (ACTA) in phase II clinical development for the treatment of cachexia and sarcopenia. The Company is also developing treatments based upon the research phase vaccine platform PolySTAR, which combines recombinant viral vectors with polymers to shield them from the immune system, and the research phase adjuvant and immunotherapeutic platform PolyMAP, which combines polymers with synthetic adjuvants to significantly enhance the effectiveness of vaccines.
Dr John Beadle is CEO of PsiOxus. Dr Beadle was previously a co-founder of PowderMed, which was sold to Pfizer, Inc. for more than $300 million in 2006. Dr Michael Moore, the former CEO of Piramed, which was acquired by Roche in 2008, serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The Biomedical Catalyst, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2011, is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Delivered jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board, the Biomedical Catalyst provides responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK. The programme is open to UK academics and SMEs and seeks to support those opportunities which demonstrate the highest scientific and commercial potential, irrespective of medical area. For further information please visit:http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/biomedical-catalyst.ashx
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK's innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visitwww.innovateuk.org.
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