Innovations which could revolutionise drug discovery, cut diagnoses time and transform the treatment of a number of serious medical conditions have made the shortlist
Some of the world’s most innovative early-stage companies and academic entrepreneurs developing health technologies set to revolutionise drug discovery and delivery, decrease diagnoses time and transform patient care including the treatment of sepsis, cancer, incontinence and bacterial infections have been shortlisted for the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies competition.
Now in its seventh year, the competition brings cutting-edge science to the real world for the benefit of society and provides a platform for those who want to commercialise their technologies. Previous winners have gone on to raise a combined total of over £32m in equity investment and grant funding, with one company subsequently being sold for £28m.
Winners have also expanded overseas, entered commercial contracts, conducted clinical and industrial scale trials, and collectively doubled their staff.
The Emerging Technologies competition takes place at the industry’s annual flagship conference, Chemistry Means Business. Around 250 scientists, entrepreneurs and professionals will attend the gathering of chemistry innovators at the QEII Conference Centre in London on 28 and 29 October. The finalists will showcase their innovations during the day before the winners are revealed during the evening awards dinner.
Aurora Antemir, Royal Society of Chemistry Industry Manager, said: “We’ve been bowled over yet again by how strong the entrants are. The Emerging Technologies competition provides a unique platform for large chemical and pharma companies to connect with emerging technologies, while providing the SME sector with an opportunity to showcase their talent and potential. We’re certain it’s going to be another special occasion celebrating some of the most novel chemistry in the UK and Europe.”
The eight winners of the competition will receive £/€ 10,000, support from competition partners (Unilever, Pfizer, Johnson Matthey, RSSL and Croda) and intensive business and pitch training at Cambridge Judge Business school.
The competition is free to apply and welcomes applicants from the UK and Europe whose technology has a strong component of chemistry, in one of these categories:
Health category finalists
Rosa Biotech, Bristol, UK
Rosa Biotech have developed a sensing platform that mimics the mammalian olfactory system. It computationally designs barrel-shaped proteins which produce distinctive colour changes in response to a huge variety of analytes. By using barrel arrays, it creates characteristic fingerprints that are interpreted by machine learning to make commercial and clinical predictions.
Crystec Ltd., Bradford, UK
Crystec is a crystal and particle engineering company, focused on improving the performance of medicines using modified Supercritical Anti-Solvent technology. It has harnessed the capabilities of its technology to generate a high-performance inhalable form of a marketed drug to generate the first urge incontinence treatment for on-demand use.
Asymmetric Suzuki Reactions, Oxford, UK
Asymmetric Suzuki Reactions has developed innovative and robust chemical reactions which access important molecular building blocks for drug discovery. These methods overcome the difficulties encountered by other attempts to access these complex molecular scaffolds, and therefore offer opportunities for the improved synthesis of known drugs, and the accelerated development of novel drugs.
RUBYnanomed, Braga, Portugal
RUBYnanomed has developed a precise cancer snapshot tool, the RUBYchip, a microfluidic device for isolating all types of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from unprocessed whole blood. In this way, RUBYnanomed offers a non-invasive and real-time snapshot of cancer progression to oncologists.
MediSieve Limited, White City, UK
MediSieve Limited has developed an innovative new approach to the treatment of sepsis which can be used to physically remove specific components directly from the bloodstream. It can remove pathogens like bacteria that cause sepsis, as well as inflammatory cytokines that drive the septic cascade, stopping escalation and saving lives.
FluoretiQ Limited, Bristol, UK
FlouretiQ’s technology will reduce the time to identify bacterial infections from 2 days to 15 minutes. It uses modified fluorescent carbon dots to target bacteria at the species level and a quantum-enhanced fluorescence system to directly detect and quantify the bacteria; enabling targeted anti-biotic therapy at first consultation.
Microcaps AG, Zurich Switzerland
Microcaps AG has developed an emulsification technique allowing size-controlled fabrication of microparticles, emulsions, and capsules with a monodisperse size distribution at industrial volumes. Its novel technique leads to a controlled release of the encapsulated drugs and therefore less side effects. Microcaps’s approach, with its increased drug efficiency, will revolutionise the pharmaceutical market.
B-CULTURE, Guimaraes, Portugal
B-CULTURE technology enables the use of interfaced tissues for drug testing in vitro. Low correlation with human tissue barrier is a major reason why false positives go through preclinical trials. Its platform will anticipate it by combining two independent but interconnected phenotypes of human tissues in a single monitored environment.
CytoSeek, Bristol, UK
In 2018, 8 million people worldwide died from solid tumours. Modifying human immune cells to attack tumours is showing promise against liquid tumours in the clinic. Unfortunately, solid tumours are resistant to current cellular therapies. Accordingly, CytoSeek is using its technology to ‘supercharge’ immune cells to attack solid tumours.
University of Birmingham, UK
The University of Birmingham has developed a novel family of fluorophore dyes which enables low-cost and tunable emission across the colour spectrum. These materials have high thermal and photo stability, which is lacking in existing commercial technologies. Our technology platform is aimed to disrupt several technology sectors, from bioprobes to security inks and OLEDs.