Oxford University's latest spin-out company is the drug delivery and glycoprotein specialist Glycoform Ltd, which uses expertise in identifying novel carbohydrate - cell surface receptor- binding properties to develop unique drug targeting systems.
The company is developing a novel technology known as LEAPT (Lectin Enzyme Activated Pro-drug Therapy) based on its extensive expertise in carbohydrate and glycoprotein chemistry and biology originating from the research of Dr Ben Davis and Dr Antony Fairbanks in Oxford’s Chemistry department. To date, Glycoform has already demonstrated specific targeting of glyco-proteins in liver cells, which is being further investigated to identify a novel drug delivery for highly toxic anti-cancer drugs.
The company, which was formed with the support of Oxford’s technology transfer company Oxford University Innovation Ltd, intends to forge partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to move the technology forward and also to collaborate with partners in improving protein / antibody drugs by specific glycosylation.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mario Polywka, a former CEO of Oxford Asymmetry International plc, one of Oxford University’s most successful spin-outs, commented: “With the pioneering research of Ben Davis and Antony Fairbanks in glyco-biology and chemistry, and the increasing need to target drugs specifically to diseased organs, Glycoform Ltd is well positioned to become a major player in the growing market of drug delivery systems.”
Glycoform Ltd raised £1million in a share placing with private and institutional investors.