UCL spin-out Nanomerics awarded £1.2m for development of Peptide pill

Nanomerics has successfully won its funding bid to the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) for £1,200,000 towards groundbreaking research aimed at developing a new form of pain relief.

The new drug, the METDoloron peptide pill – based on peptides rather than opioids – avoids the sometimes serious side-effects of opioid-based drugs by targeting different receptors in the brain, and uses an agent which is produced by the body itself to control pain. Peptides are molecules produced by the body which can act as nature’s own ‘drugs’.

The peptide pill utilizes Nanomerics’ Molecular Envelope Technology (MET), to enable the peptides within it – usually broken down by the body in the gut if ingested orally – to be absorbed by the body and provide effective pain relief.

The award is part of a total £6.5m package given by the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to seven companies to develop new therapies and diagnostic technology which utilise nanotechnology and has been given to develop the new pain relief medication based on the technology. The Nanomerics led consortium comprises the UCL School of Pharmacy, AMTechnology Ltd. and the University of Exeter.

The global market in pain medication is currently worth $50bn annually. The development of the drug will address a vital unmet medical need for people who suffer chronic severe pain, much of which is inadequately controlled by opioid-based medication such as codeine and morphine.

Andreas Schatzlein, CEO of Nanomerics, said:

“The funding awarded by the Technology Strategy Board and the EPSRC will enable us to push ahead with development of nano-enabled pharmaceuticals such as the Nanomerics’ Peptide Pill and clinically test drugs based on them in a few years’ time.

“Supporting the commercialization of cutting-edge science emanating from British universities is vital to maintain our lead in using nanotechnology to develop the global pharmaceutical products of tomorrow.”

Notes to editors

  1. Media inquiries should be directed to Dr Andreas Schatzlein on tel: +44 (0)207 753 5998, e-mail: andreas.g.schatzlein@nanomerics.com

About Nanomerics

Nanomerics is a spin-out company from the UCL School of Pharmacy and founded by Dr Andreas Schatzlein and Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu to commercialise nanotechnology for the delivery of drugs, genes and peptides.

About UCL (University College London)

Described by The Sunday Times as 'an intellectual powerhouse with a world-class reputation', UCL is consistently ranked as one of the top three multifaculty universities in the UK and features in the top universities worldwide.

Founded in 1826, UCL is a multidisciplinary university with an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching across the academic spectrum, with subjects spanning the sciences, arts, social sciences and biomedicine. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) UCL was rated the best research university in London, and third in the UK overall, for the number of its submissions which were considered of world-leading  quality. The RAE confirmed UCL's multidisciplinary research strength with outstanding results achieved across the subjects, ranging from Biomedicine, Science and Engineering, and the Built Environment to Laws, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. 

UCL is a founding partner of the largest European Centre for Medical Research and Innovation, The Francis Crick Institute, due to open in 2015. UCL is among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables.  Its annual income is over £700 million.

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org

Page last modified on 11 jul 13 15:19