PIramed Ltd. was incorporated in October 2001 to commercialize the findings of a research collaboration between three of Europe's leading cancer research institutes (the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK and the Institute for Cancer Research) and Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The collaboration, initiated in 1995, identified a range of small molecule inhibitors of the PI3 Kinase (PI3K) family of lipid kinases-intracellular enzymes that are important in cell signalling pathways that influence a range of fundamental cellular activities including growth, migration, proliferation and survival, and are implicated in a number of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and immune-inflammatory diseases.
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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.
Encouraged by successes in the biotech space, public market investors' interest in the device arena has returned in 2004 to support 10 companies' IPOs so far. Windhover's analysis of the valuations achieved indicate that private investors in these companies have, on average, enjoyed larger returns than their biotech counterparts.