Isis Participates in New Start-up Company Developing Novel Medicines
13 December 2010
Isis Innovation Ltd, the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford, is pleased to announce its participation in the formation of IXO Therapeutics Ltd, a new biotechnology company formed to research and develop novel medicines from natural sources for the treatment of immune-mediated and inflammatory diseases, which launches today.
The new company, a start-up from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and focused on the development of intellectual property (IP) derived from both NERC and the University of Oxford, aims to develop recombinant protein products that will treat inflammation and diseases that affect the body’s immune system. These proteins are all derived from natural sources and several are already being developed that will address unmet clinical and commercial need.
The portfolio of products is based on the work of Professor Pat Nuttall’s group at NERC’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, in collaboration with research groups at the University of Oxford.
The portfolio includes a novel dendritic cell modulator – these cells are key regulators of the immune system and are found, for example, in the lymph nodes and spleen; and an LTB4 inhibitor. LTB4 is a key component of the immune system and encourages the white blood cells to attack disease, but in inflamed tissue it can actually exacerbate the condition. The IXO LTB4 inhibitor is a binding protein that will balance out the body’s inflammatory response.
Professor Nuttall said, “The launch of IXO today is an important step forward as the research is now at a transitional stage. IXO expects to develop and produce a number of anti-inflammatory compounds that will target diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis – conditions that are in urgent need of new clinical approaches.”
Professor Alan Thorpe, Chief Executive of NERC, said, “The transfer of knowledge from basic, long-term research such as this into start-up companies – where ideas are generated and turned into jobs – will aid economic growth. There is a significant opportunity for IXO Therapeutics to deliver both medicinal and economic value to the UK as the company develops its products.”
Tom Hockaday, Managing director of Isis Innovation Ltd., said, “The formation of IXO Therapeutics is an excellent example of collaboration between pioneering research groups. This is a “win-win” result with IXO now having the resources to develop clinically valuable treatments for patients.”
IXO Therapeutics Ltd
T: +44 (0)7748 357352
Marketing & Communications Manager, Isis Innovation
T: +44 (0) 1865 614428
Notes for editors
1. More information about IXO can be found at www.ixo-ltd.com
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is the UK's main body for funding and managing world-class research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. It coordinates some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on earth, and much more. NERC receives around £400 million a year from the government's science budget, which it uses to fund independent research and training in universities and its own research centres.
Isis Innovation is the University of Oxford's technology transfer company and manages the University's intellectual property portfolio, working with University researchers on identifying, protecting and marketing technologies through licensing, spin-out company formation and material sales. Isis files on average one new patent application each week, has concluded over 500 technology licensing agreements, and established 69 new spin-out companies from Oxford since 1997. Isis also manages Oxford University Consulting, which arranges consulting services providing clients access to the world-class expertise of the University's academics to enhance innovative capability. Last year OUC arranged over 150 consulting deals. Isis has established a separate business division, Isis Enterprise, offering consulting expertise and advice in technology transfer and open innovation to university, government and industrial clients around the world. Isis was founded in 1987 and is today one of the world's leading technology transfer and innovation management companies.