University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh has an incredible track record on drug discovery, a world class environment and facilities to support interdisciplinary collaboration and an exceptional team of scientists delivering innovative solutions to unmet medical needs.
Since 2019 alone, the University has spun out 4 companies developing new therapeutics which, in turn, have attracted over £38M in VC investment; Phenotherapeutics (Re-myelination Therapeutics; Advent LifeArc and SIB), Cellinta (Gene Therapy targeting cancer stem cells, SV Health); Resolution (Cell Therapy; Syncona) and Macomics (ImmunoOncology; Epidarex).
Our Medicines Discovery Team has a proven performance in target based screening, protein expression and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. The University Drug Science Group and Phenotypic Discovery Unit develops novel assays across disease areas and implements robust cell based high throughput, high content phenotypic screens. And our Innovative Medicines Group is exploring novel chemical strategies to improve the efficacy and safety of cancer treatments.
Our capability is underpinned by significant expertise expertise across inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular and neuroscience plus the largest cohort of regenerative medicine researchers in any single site in Europe. This is embedded in a wider ecosystem of translational capability across the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. A record £350m investment has created an environment in which the University has unprecedented access to patients, clinicians, scientists, industrial partners and state of the art clinical and pre-clinical research facilities.
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is world-leading in innovative drug discovery and development. We have an interdisciplinary team providing outstanding expertise in computational chemistry, target biology and clinical translation coupled with a broad and embedded understanding of the criteria that define successful drug projects. Specific nodes of expertise in our portfolio include ageing, infection, inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular and spinal injury. The portfolio is supported by our Translational Research Team and targeted UOB investment, available at each stage from target ID to screening, hit to lead optimization and through early derisking toxicology, ADME and formulation.
Companies in our spin-out portfolio include: Revitope Oncology which is designing “gated” immunotherapies with sophisticated built-in control mechanisms for precision tumour targeting and controlled immune activation, Invex Therapeutics which is repurposing a drug for neurological conditions including Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension and PsiOxus which is developing innovative gene-based immuno-oncology treatments for solid tumours. In the 18 months to January 2021, these three companies attracted an aggregate total of approximately £35M from investors across the globe.
University of Dundee
The University of Dundee has a long-standing track record of commercial success and tangible impact from genuinely world-class research, particularly from its Schools of Life Sciences and Medicine. Dundee has been named the best seat of learning in Scotland for supporting spinout businesses, according to Octopus Ventures, evidenced by successful spinout companies such as Exscientia. Founded in 2012, Exscientia has established itself as a leader in the emerging field of AI-powered drug discovery. It is already ranked in the Sunday Times’ Tech Track 100 and earlier this year raised $60 million in a round of capital raising. Other successful Dundee spinouts include Amphista Therapeutics, which in April 2020 announced a multi-million pound deal to develop first-in-class cancer therapeutics and Ten Bio, whose patented human skin culture system could dramatically cut the need for testing on animals.”
University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is a pioneering university providing an exceptional research-led education and delivering world-leading research that transforms lives, improves societies, and shapes the future. Ranked eighth in the UK for research power, 97% of our research is recognised internationally (REF 2014), and our research portfolio is worth more than £650 million.
Researchers across the schools of Bioscience, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Medicine and Pharmacy work across all areas of drug discovery from target identification to clinical trials. Our end-to-end therapeutics research, based within our Biodiscovery Institute, draws together core strengths in discovery science arising from small molecules, proteins and materials. Successful translation of research outputs is evidenced by a continued commitment to the formation of new spin-outs. The University has a portfolio of 25 companies and notable successful examples in Life Sciences include Scancell Plc, Oncimmune Plc, and Exonate Ltd.
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK, with a remarkable 94% of its research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021). Bristol has major strategic research strengths in the following areas: cardiovascular sciences; population health sciences; biodesign (engineering biology); neurosciences; infection, immunity, tissue repair and cancer biology. In addition, there are strengths in many aspects of underpinning molecular and cell biology as well as population health methodological research. Researchers across the Faculties of Health Sciences, Life Science and Science are engaged in research that spans target identification through to clinical studies.
The University has a strong record of creating spin-out companies accelerate the translation of its research. It has created over 30 spin-outs focused on therapeutics and medical devices, who have collectively raised over £250 million. These include Ziylo, who were acquired by Novo Nordisk in 2018 for their novel technology platform of glucose binding molecules. Other recent examples include Purespring Therapeutics, who are using gene therapy to target unmet needs in kidney disease, and Scarlet Theraputics, who are developing a therapeutic Red Blood Cell platform.
Queen Mary University of London
Nestled between the City of London and Canary Wharf, and home to one of Britain’s best research and teaching hospitals, Queen Mary University of London is the perfect place to turn world leading research into commercial success. Innovative research should make a social and economic impact, and the university thinks commercial tools can be one of the best ways to achieve that. The university is one of the UK’s top research universities, ranked seventh in the UK for the quality of our research (REF 2021), and was awarded top category – Very High Engagement – for IP and commercialisation in Research England’s 2023 Knowledge Exchange Framework. Queen Mary’s research and knowledge exchange is associated with £1.44 billion of economic impact, contributing to an overall university economic impact of £4.4 billion.
Queen Mary academics work closely with Queen Mary Innovations to build their inventions into successful businesses, or to license them to already thriving businesses who can take the technology forwards.
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is home to world-changing researchers who are working to tackle some of the biggest global health problems, including cancers, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and infectious diseases. To do that, our researchers seek to better understand the science behind key diseases and infections, in order to identify new drug targets and develop innovative therapeutic approaches. The University is also pioneering groundbreaking work in the areas of chemical biology, organic synthesis, chemical photonics and complex chemistry.
In recent years, the University of Glasgow has spun out several companies aimed at developing novel therapeutics. These include Keltic Pharma (developing first-in-class anti-malarials and novel therapeutics using its proprietary PEP-SMOL platform to target “undruggable” GPCRs), Caldan Therapeutics (developing novel therapeutics targeting modulators of free fatty acid receptors for metabolic disease, including Type 2 Diabetes), Causeway Therapeutics (developing microRNA therapeutics for musculoskeletal and age-related diseases with a £8.75M investment raise in February 2023 for Phase 2 trial) and Chemify, which secured £43M in Series A funding in August 2023 to further its aims to digitise chemistry for pharma and industrial partners