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11 companies benefit from biotech research funding

24 May 2005

11 small and medium enterprises will benefit from a total of £2.2M of funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) after winning backing under BBSRC’s Small Business Research Initiative.

The initiative, now in its fourth year, is designed to boost the research and development capabilities of small to medium businesses in the UK’s highly competitive biotechnology sector. The successful companies from the 2005 competition come from across the UK and are involved in projects as diverse as developing new ways to apply treatments to diseases of the nail and exploring biotechnology to control insect pests.

Highlights from the successful companies include: Zyentia Ltd’s project to develop nanostructured calcium phosphate as a potential novel bone replacement material and deltaDOT Ltd’s development of a microfluidic chip with the technology to isolate individual biomolecules from complex mixtures.

Dr Doug Yarrow, BBSRC Director of Corporate Science, said, “The UK biotechnology sector is second in the world to only the USA. Schemes such as the Small Business Research Initiative help small and medium size companies to enhance their research capacity and hence international competitiveness.”

ENDS

2005 Small Business Research Initiative Awards

Critical Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Nottingham
Evaluating Biological Responses to Single-Dose Vaccines

Daniolabs, Cambridge
Identification of Factors responsible for the Differentiation of Oligodendrocytes

deltaDOT Ltd, London
Isolating unlabelled biomolecules in a microfluidic system – Switching samples for multiple downstream procedures

Celltran Ltd, Sheffield
Pre-clinical Development of an Advanced Surface for Culture and Transfer of Limbal Epithelium for Ocular Surface Disease

Farfield Sensors Ltd, Salford
Towards a new structure-function workstation for multimolecular assemblies

Oxitec Ltd, Oxford
Improved Insect Transformation

MedPharm Ltd, Charlbury, Oxfordshire
The Development of a Novel Topical Ungual Delivery System (MedNail)

Lumora Ltd, Cambridge
2D-NAAT: A Universal Handheld Assay Platform for Ultra-Sensitive Low-Cost Biological Detection

Plasso Technology Ltd, Sheffield
Sugar Binding Surfaces

Southampton PolyPeptides Ltd, Southampton
Chemical Synthesis of Therapeutic Proteins Using PEGylated Precursors

Zyentia Ltd, Cambridge
Nanostructured Calcium Phosphate as a Novel Bone Replacement Material

Notes to editors

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) aims to encourage small high-tech firms to develop new research capacities. The scheme is open to all companies, but is expected to be most attractive to SMEs. All tenders must demonstrate that the company has access to other sources of finance or risk capital. The R&D proposed must fall within BBSRC's science remit.

About BBSRC

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £380 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

Contact

Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382