Technology Strategy Board award grant to XenoGesis for research project
30th January 2013
XenoGesis has been awarded a grant for research from the government-backed Biomedical Catalyst Feasibility grant. The grant is awarded for the project of ‘Evaluation of membrane-retentive pro-drugs to increase duration of effect to enable once-a-day dosing of inhaled muscarinic M3 receptor antagonists.’

The grant was awarded by the Technology Strategy Board on the 4th December 2012 following an assessment process. XenoGesis will act as the lead partner in the project and will work in collaboration with researchers from the School of Pharmacy at The University of Nottingham.

Delivered jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board, the Biomedical Catalyst is a programme of public funding that provides responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK.

Commenting on the grant, Dr Richard Weaver said, “This is great news for XenoGesis. The project will help us to build our skill base, expand our range of capabilities to clients as well as develop our relationship with the University. As the lead partner, XenoGesis will be working with Dr Michael Stocks from the University of Nottingham who will be synthesising compounds via a fully-funded post-doctoral research fellowship through our award.”

Dr Stocks said, “This is excellent news for both XenoGesis and the University of Nottingham allowing the exploration of high-quality applied science towards a potential commercial goal and we are very grateful to the Technology Strategy Board for funding the research.”

Dr Weaver continues, “Inhalation is an increasingly important delivery approach of therapeutic agents to the lung. There remains an unmet medical, commercial and practical need for ‘once-a-day’ treatment in various therapeutic areas and this is lacking for some current therapies. Once daily treatment is possible in some cases, but this approach can involve over-dosing to give the required duration of action. A negative issue is often side-effects due to initial higher than desired drug exposure. The proposed project involves chemically modifying current drugs via a novel pro-drug approach. The active drug will be released in a controlled manner at the target site, so the duration of pharmacological effect will be significantly longer than the traditional approach. The concept will be tested pre-clinically with the iterative design and synthesis of various test agents and drug metabolism tests in vitro and in vivo to prove that the required extension of duration is realised.”

The 12 month project will start on the 1st April 2013.
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