A SPIN-OUT company from Edinburgh University has been launched to give international drugs companies access to the institution’s expertise in areas including multiple sclerosis (MS) and pain management.
Aquila Biomedical is preparing to embark on a round of fundraising after signing up industry veteran Alison Templeton as its first non-executive director.
The firm has been set up by Stephen Anderton, the university’s professor of therapeutic immunology, and Howard Marriage, entrepreneur in residence at the Edinburgh BioQuarter, the joint venture set up by NHS Lothian, Scottish Enterprise and the university to help commercialise the institution’s research.
Clare Doris, Aquila’s chief operating officer, said: “Scientists at the university are regularly approached by pharmaceuticals companies to undertake small projects to help them discovery new drugs. Our new company will help to make this process easier.
“We’ve starting off by working on autoimmune disease, inflammation, MS and pain, but we expect to expand rapidly over the next five years into other areas of medicine covered by the university.”
The company – which got a £70,000 “smart” grant from Scottish Enterprise and which is receiving help from Scottish Development International – currently has five staff.
Mike Capaldi, commercialisation director at Edinburgh BioQuarter, said that Aquila’s services would appeal to drug developers because the company could help them to identify which of their chemical compounds are mostly likely to lead to new drugs.
“The pharmaceutical industry is under increasing pressure from investors to deliver results more accurately and faster than was previously possible,” said Capaldi.
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