Research team wins award to commercialise oral drug delivery technology

Friday, 04 October 2019

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Oxford Brookes University has won its first funding award for a project which will market-validate a technology which enables injection-only pharmaceutical drugs to be formulated into pills for oral dosage.

The advantage of the approach is that it is applicable to many classes of drug, including those used to treat diabetes and cancer.

The project has been developed through collaborative research led by Dr David Meredith, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and Biomedical Science at Oxford Brookes University. He said: “We are excited to take our oral drug delivery research out of the lab and into every day commercial use and we have been working for a long time to achieve this."

The funding has been awarded by Innovate UK’s Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) programme which was set up to support university researchers with commercially promising ideas, to bring them out of the lab and validate them for the marketplace.

The programme provided an initial funding of £35,000 for a research fellow, Dr Manuelle Debunne, to travel globally and meet industrialists, with the aim to learn and determine whether there would be a market for products or services utilising their research. Projects that show there is an addressable market can pitch for a follow-up grant of up to £300,000 to fast track creation a spin-out company, if that is the most appropriate way forward.

To date 300 researchers from 60 universities have been supported and 80 companies have been created. Other options include seeking further investment to generate the proof of concept data or licensing the technology to industry.

“The ICURe award presented a great opportunity to accelerate commercialisation of our technology in response to the outcome of the market validation study. The feedback from ICURe was very positive, saying that our technology “had potential for wide uptake in big pharma” and that Manuelle was a real asset to the project”, added Dr Meredith.

The team are now actively pursuing funding to develop the project further.

More information on business and innovation at Oxford Brookes can be found on the University’s dedicated webpages.