The University of Cambridge Technology Transfer Office
After years of technology transfer underfunding, Cambridge University is now one of the most successful technology transfer institutes in the UK, holding equity stakes in more than 30 spin-outs and over 220 different patent families.
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The focus of Astex Technology Ltd., which aims to imrpove the efficiency of protein X-ray crystallography, reflects the drug development background of its founders. X-ray crystallography can be used as a target validation tool, and also in drug discovery, to optimize ligand-protein interactions. Astex will first aim to introduce tools for the latter market.
Senexis Ltd. spun-out of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology to develop novel therapeutics and diagnostics for currently incurable aging-related disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and type 2 diabetes. In addition to being more prevalent in the older population, these diseases also share a similar underlying etiology; they are all associated with amyloidosis.
Europe's pre-emption rights significantly hamper biotech fundraising. But since they're unlikely to go away, European firms are having to find clever ways around them.