15 July 2019
Somaserve Ltd, a newly founded UCLB spinout company from the UCL department of Chemistry, today announced that it has secured the IP and global commercial rights to the PolyNaut® technology, also known as ‘the bionic nanoparticle’.
The company has been founded to offer the life science industry access to the unique capabilities of the PolyNaut® technology. The technology can be utilised in live cell imaging and as a formulation technology to improve the therapeutic viability of molecules with poor pharmacokinetic and chemical properties.
In addition, Somaserve announced the closure of its seed round funding in which a small group of investors comprising a corporate, EIS funds including o2h Ventures and angels participated. Dr Fran Crawford CEO said ‘the potential of the PolyNaut® technology is tremendous and we are confident that with the backing of such a strong group of investors we will be able to make a very great impact in many important areas of research’
David Ford of Arrowfield Capital, the lead investor for the funding round, added ‘I have been pleased to lead this funding round for Somaserve and we are excited by the potential for this technology to create innovative cell imaging tools and to offer an alternative drug formulation approach that could help realise the untapped therapeutic potential of shelved therapy programmes across the industry’
Dr Weng Sie Wong, UCLB Senior Business Manager said ‘We are delighted to have played a central role in the formation of Somaserve. With the investment secured, we believe the team has the capacity to maximise the potential of the technology providing reagents and bespoke drug discovery and product development services’
Dr Fran Crawford, CEO
M: +44 7714 672027
Founded in 2018, SomaServe was spun out of UCL with the mission to build a uniquely positioned pharma service and specialist reagent business exploiting PolyNaut® Technology to image live cells and improve the therapeutic viability of molecules with poor pharmacokinetic and chemical properties.
PolyNaut® Technology is a versatile nano-engineered polymer technology for in vivo intracellular delivery. The resulting polymer nanoparticle vesicle is known as ‘the bionic nanoparticle’. The widely diverse polymer structure is highly flexible and can accept small molecules, peptides and proteins, antibodies, nuclear material, dyes and probes. The resulting nanoparticles then deliver their cargo to the interior of the cell, greatly enhancing the therapeutic efficacy of the encapsulated molecules. In addition, it is possible to functionalise the vesicle surface with targeting ligands to aid penetration of biological barriers such as the blood brain barrier.
This cell delivery technology can also be successfully employed to enhance live cell imaging. The resulting CelLuminate suite of dyes have been developed to image live cells in vitro. CelLuminate has the benefit of significantly reduced cytotoxicity compared to industry standard cell imaging reagents. Cells under test can remain functional and viable for periods of up to fourteen days, giving researchers in industry and academia more time for image analysis.
The patented PolyNaut® technology underpins Somaserve’s portfolio of specialist reagents and is at the heart of the Precision Services division. Precision Services provides bespoke drug discovery and product development services to pharma and non-pharma companies for proprietary molecules. The focus of the Precision Services division is to improve the therapeutic viability of potential therapeutic molecules with poor pharmacokinetic and chemical properties.
For more information see http://somaserve.com/home-somaserve