Cara Therapeutics, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut, focuses on novel treatments for chronic pain and had previously traded shares in exchange for the licence of pain-relief technology patented by the university’s Professor Graeme Milligan.
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The university will invest more than £1m of the proceeds from the share sale in the ongoing work at Milligan’s laboratory, as well as other research priorities in its College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences.
Milligan is also a scientific advisor to Cara, which floated on the Nasdaq stock market in 2014, raising almost $56m.
He said: “I am delighted that the research technology we developed and licenced to Cara Therapeutics has resulted in such a large financial gain for the university, and also provided further investment into my lab.
“It’s a positive story about the impact that basic research can have, not only in the world of business, but also in illustrating how such underpinning scientific studies can have translational reach and can act as an investment for the university and create future investment into your own research efforts.”
Cara, which is working on treatments for the chronic itching condition pruritus, is led by co-founder and chief executive Dr Derek Chalmers, who holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow’s Wellcome Surgical Institute.