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'Protecting virus' offers instant flu protection & converts flu infections into their own vaccines

Research led by Professor Nigel Dimmock at the University of Warwick is developing an entirely new method of protecting against flu. This has been shown to protect animals against various strains of flu, and could ofer protection against the full range of influenza A infections, including H5N1 and any new pandemic or epidemic strains infecting humans. The 'protecting virus' provides instant protection, and completely prevents flu symptoms developing by slowing influenza infection rates to such an extent that the harmful infection becomes a vaccine against that very form of influenza. It can also counter an actual infection and offer protection if given up to 24 hours after first infection.


New Company Investment...

Fundraising for Warwick spin-outs has been very busy. Recent fundraisings include:
  • DigePrint (£400k from e-Synergy and business angels)
  • Incentec (£500k from NESTA, Oxford Technology VCT, Exomedica and Midven)
  • Concurrent Thinking (£1.5m from Oxford Capital Partners, Forward Group and Midven) Warwick University Spin-out, Concurrent Thinking, have secured a further £1.5million in their latest funding round with new partners: Oxford Capital Partners, Advantage Growth Fund, and The Forward Innovation Fund. These new monies will be spent on opening a US sales office and developing new software products.
  • Novolytics (£125k from business angels and SMIF). Novolytics have won a £75k Grant for Research from AWM, which unlocks £125k of committed equity investment. This is the culmination of five years of effort from the academics (Prof Nick Mann and others), Dr Nick Housby and Warwick Ventures staff.


Creation of A2SP Ltd - New toolkit for carrying out chemical genomic studies

A2SP Is a company providing Chemical Genomics Services for drug discovery that was formed in May 2006 from research carried out at the University of Warwick. The core technology upon which the company was founded is licensed as Magic Tag® and comprises a toolkit for carrying out chemical genomic studies in any organism. The key concepts developed from work carried out under a multi-centre BBSRC Exploiting Genomics grant (£350k) that was subsequently commercialised using Follow-on funding from BBSRC (£56k) and an Advantage West Midlands SPINNER grant (£50k). The four Directors of the company, Dr Andrew Clark, Dr Suzanne Dilly, Dr Andrew Marsh and Dr Paul Taylor have all been intimately involved in the science from the outset and have received business development support from Warwick Ventures in addition to on-going Business Advice and Mentoring from BBSRC.

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Plant Made Pharmaceuticals grant from Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust has agreed to award the University of Warwick a grant of over £110k for 2 years to study maximising the yield of plant-made pharmaceuticals. The use of transgenic plants, (plants which grow specific, harvestable genes), for the production of pharmaceuticals is one of the most promising biotechnology methods of recent years, and antibodies are by far the most valuable molecules to be produced in plants. Transgenic plants allow for the production of GMP-compliant antibodies at significantly lower costs than aninmla culture. Currently, however, the overall yield of functional antibody is somewhat low and the achievement of higher yields will further reduce the manufacturing costs and ensure the supply of antibodies is sufficient to meet the high market needs. Dr. Lorenzo Frigerio has been awarded translational funding over 2 years to further develop and validate a technology which allows a much higher yield of antibody from plants.

Connect win new Invored East and West Contracts. Spinner also extended

An audience of almost 150 entrepreneurs, small businesses, advisors, intermediaries and venture capitalists assembled at Holywell Park, Loughborough earlier this year for the official launch of the Connect InvoRed investment readiness programme. InvoRed has existed since April 2003 but was recently given further funding from the East Midlands Development Agency (E.M.D.A.) following a successful pilot phase. Isabell Majewsky, director of Connect Midlands outlined the successes of the organisation in helping technology companies raise investment finance. During the pilot, in which it was tasked with helping 90 companies, it exceeded its target and helped 127 businesses across the region, 31 of whom went on to raise investment finance totalling over £12m.

Spinner restarted on October 1st, with Birmingham holding the contract. This will contribute about £60k to Warwick Ventures in the year, plus an opportunity to bid into a £600k proof-of-concept fund.

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Gadametric presenting at BVCA conference

gadametric Gadametric were invited as one of only 3 companies to present in the seed funding round (Angel Masterclass) at last months BVCA Conference. With an audience of 200 VCs and Angels, the day went very well and Dr. Sam Hardy of Gadametric was pleased with the outcome.

Gadametric have developed a proprietary antiviral screening technology that enables them to screen potential drug candidates (e.g. new chemical entities, antibodies, small RNAs etc.) for their ability to kill viruses. The system can be easily automated into a medium or high throughput process and can be adapted for use with virtually any virus. Initially Gadametric intend to provide a screening service to pharmaceutical companies that wish to utilise the benefits of the system. In the long term Gadametric will carry out in-house drug discovery by screening libraries of compounds to isolate novel, patentable antivirals.


Warwick Ventures Welcomes our latest European Visitor

This month saw the arrival of our new colleague Mr Luis Cortes from The University of Valencia. Mr Cortes has joined us from the University of Valencia and is being funded by the Dirección General de Infraestructuras Científicas y Tecnológicas ("DGCIICCTT"), (Valencia), on a 6 month secondment. He will be working full time on a number of our key projects...

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Warwick launches iCast

Warwick University is the first university in the country to pioneer an an internet video service focussed on the promotion of research, science and business activity. The project builds upon the existing initiatives Research-TV and Warwick Podcasts and makes use of these current programmes to build an extensive resource for the University. During term-time, Warwick iCast will deliver a weekly video bulletin of 10-15 minutes focusing on up to three features examining research, science and business activity with the following criteria guiding selection:
  • Research outputs
  • Insight and comment on current affairs
  • Major events, awards or project launches
  • Why is the University developing this service?
The expansion of the broadband network has encouraged the development of a range of new media channels delivering a rich and interactive communications environment. In parallel the cost of production and distribution of such content has fallen in the same period. Organisations must quickly understand these new channels; identify how they can add new value to their communications strategies to enhance their ability to engage with key stakeholder groups. The University has already begun to experiment with providing broadband services, such as online video for policy briefings and podcasting. These projects have demonstrated that broadband services have both a significant audience reach and can add demonstrable value to communications activity. These activities relate not just to the online environment but also enhance other channels, such as presentations and recruitment materials.

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Month

Date

Event

Venue

Partner

November

Thu 16th

Lord Stafford Awards

Alton Towers

connect midlands

November

Thu 16th

Connect Midlands - Investment Conference

East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham

connect midlands
Connect Midland's Springboard event is a one-day platform that allows early-stage companies to present their innovations and showcase their ideas, concepts and proposals. This event calls upon entrepreneurs and inventors, looking for finance of up to 500k, to produce a ten-minute presentation to an invited audience of investors and business advisors.

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In this section we ask for your help in identifying potential partners or licensing opportunities for our spin-offs. Maybe you are interested in collaborating with one of our companies or maybe you know somebody else who is?

"Opscape" seeking £200k

Opscape LogoOne of our lecturers from the Institute for Applied Cognitive Science has developed a prototype of an innovative and unique visual exploration and simulation tool for business-process understanding and management.

The value of this product has been validated through initial sales meetings with Ford, Gap, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Lander Automotive and KPMG, and has met with enthusiastic response. The concept behind the Opscape product is to create a visual rendition of this numerical data, so that anyone can easily understand the meaning of the figures. This is a significant advance on the graphs and plots of time series as traditionally used in business settings, which do not generate the kind of experiential interaction (and hence intuitive feel) that Opscape will provide. Events in the business become visual events that observers come to know so intuitively that they can mentally image the entire process, almost at a glance. Opscape can be particularly helpful in spotting cause and effect, antecedents of key events, bottlenecks, the lead up to a catastrophic failure, or the pattern of recovery from one. When used in simulation mode, various options for structuring a planned process can be studied in the same way as the history of an existing one. Various contingencies, potential breaking points and other fault analysis exercises can be carried out.

If you are keen to learn more about this young company at this important stage in their development please contact Dr. Shum Prakash at our offices.


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    About Us Warwick Ventures is the technology transfer office at the University of Warwick. We exist to commercialise the world class research emanating from the university and in doing so, help establish successful, sustainable, and profitable companies with a 3-way profit share between the university, the founding academic, and their department.

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    Editorial Press releases and other information can be sent to the editorial team at ventures@warwick.ac.uk

    Disclaimer The material set out here is provided for information purposes only. Warwick Ventures does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. Before making any investment decision, potential investors should consult their own professional advisors.