We are experienced business development professionals who:

  • Provide introductions to our innovators/entrepreneurs
  • Broker negotiations
    • Licensing
  • Research collaborations
  • Long-term Research and Development partnerships
  • Provide business support through our projects

Translational capabilities

Due to the intrinsically-linked operations of the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine/Medical School and the NHS through research and development, we work with colleagues and teams across disciplines. This allows basic reach concepts to transition through to clinical readouts and outcomes.

We advise on:

  • Potential development routes
  • Potential academic/healthcare partners
  • Market opportunities

We broker introductions and deals in:

  • Licensing
  • Research collaborations
  • Long-term Research and Development partnerships

We write and negotiate:

  • Contracts
  • Patent approaches

For more information see Centres of Excellence & Innovation Principals

Some examples of industry introductions are:

Discovery Partnership in Academia (DPAc) with GSK – Acute Pancreatitis

Patients suffering organ failure caused by a common inflammatory condition could be helped by a new therapy.

Scientists have discovered an experimental medicine that protects against organ damage caused by acute pancreatitis – offering hope for the illness which has no current treatment. The condition affects thousands of people in the UK each year and places a huge burden on intensive care facilities.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh had previously identified a key enzyme called KMO, which fuels the inflammation linked to the condition. A team from the University’s MRC Centre for Inflammation Research and the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science have since been working with scientists from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to identify a chemical compound that blocks KMO.

The research is the product of a Discovery Partnership with Academia (DPAc) collaboration between the University and GSK.

In late 2011, the BioQuarter Commercialisation team (now Sunergos Innovations) negotiated the partnership, integrating the University’s in-depth knowledge of acute pancreatitis, the target and disease biology, with GSK’s expertise in developing new medicines.

The collaboration has now reached a key preclinical milestone – a major step in the journey towards the development of a new therapeutic for acute pancreatitis.

Damian Mole, an academic consultant surgeon and Principal Investigator led the research with Senior Lecturer Dr Scott Webster.

Damian said: “Although there is much work to do before clinical trials can confirm whether KMO inhibitors are effective in humans with pancreatitis or not, we are really excited to have this promising new medicine and the opportunity to see if it can make a real difference to patients.”

Collaboration with Galecto AB to generate treatment for Fibrosis

In late 2012, we announced a new collaboration between scientists working in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and Galecto Biotech AB, a spin out company of the University of Lund (Sweden). This collaboration developed a series of novel Galectin-3 inhibitors as potential treatments for fibrosis.

The original collaboration has been further extended with a fully paid position for Dr Alison Mackinnon to work on and develop the Galectin-3 inhibition project further. Galectin-3 inhibitors may inhibit the processes that drive tissue fibrosis.

Fibrosis is a disease of the connective tissue which results in excessive scarring of organs. It can occur in a wide variety of organ sites and is due to deposition of collagen and the formation of excessive fibrous tissue. It is a serious contributing factor to a number of illnesses, including: pulmonary fibrosis, cancer, inflammation, heart disease and stroke and is a huge burden on healthcare systems worldwide. Current treatments are limited, ultimately with organ transplantation being the mainstay treatment for end-stage fibrotic disease. New anti-fibrotic treatments are essential.

The initial collaborative research performed at the University of Edinburgh highlighted the potential role of Galectin-3 in fibrosis and that Galectin-3 inhibitors may inhibit the processes which drive tissue fibrosis.

The new collaboration with Galecto Biotech will develop a series of novel Galectin-3 inhibitors as potential treatments. In particular, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a particularly debilitating and incurable disease, the inhibitors generated as part of this collaborative effort may prove to be successful treatments for this disease.

For Galecto Biotech, the collaboration will allow the company to develop its range of proprietary Galectin 3 inhibitors further with the researchers at the heart of Galectin-3 research and will be heavily involved in the direction of the collaboration moving forward.

Dr Mackinnon said: “In particular, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a particularly debilitating and incurable disease, the inhibitors generated as part of this collaborative effort may prove to be successful treatments for this disease.”

DelApp – Smartphone app to help diagnose delirium

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are working with partners to develop a smartphone app that could help diagnose delirium.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have joined forces with other academic and clinical partners from the University of Glasgow, NHS Lothian, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the, Medical Devices Unit and Cambridge Cognition to develop a mobile handheld test for the objective assessment of delirium – the ‘DelApp’.

Delirium (or acute confusional state) is a severe deterioration in mental functioning that affects at least one in eight of all acute hospital patients. It is highly distressing for patients and carers, and has multiple other adverse consequences including an increased risk of death, risk of readmission into hospital, increased risk of developing dementia in future, and also increasing a patient’s length of stay in hospital.

However, despite the seriousness of the condition, there is a lack of objective neuropsychological tests that can detect and monitor attentional deficits, which is the key cognitive feature of delirium.

A Edinburgh team,  led by Professor Alasdair MacLullich, had previously developed a computerised neuropsychological test to measure attentional deficits as part of delirium assessment. The next step is to turn this into a mobile handheld test.

The ‘DelApp’ aims to provide a rapid, objective test of inattention. It can discriminate delirium from dementia and can monitor change. In practice, smartphones are now used daily by hospital doctors in their professional capacity so is seen as a low cost, effective and practical solution to a key issue in delirium detection.