Three new companies to be spun out of research at the University of Aberdeen have been shortlisted for Scotland's premier company creation competition, with a student start-up also nominated in the social enterprise category.
The winners of the competition share a prize fund of £100,000 alongside great networking opportunities and a comprehensive support and training package.
The three new future spin out companies nominated for the Converge Challenge Award are:
Ripptide Pharma (Professor Marcel Jaspars, joint with University of St Andrews): Ripptide Pharma will develop novel macrocycles, a class of drugs with the potential to treat complex diseases. Ripptide is a joint project between the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews, led by Professors Marcel Jaspars and Jim Naismith, and funded by Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Spin Out Programme to develop novel chemoenzymatic methods of producing macrocycle drugs acting against hard-to-drug targets.
MIME Technologies – MIME stands for Managing Information in Medical Services and MIME Technologies, led by Dr Alasdair Mort and Professor Philip Wilson will bring to market: a novel, lightweight, wireless medical monitoring system designed for first responders and developed over 8 years of research. MIME™ software runs on mobile devices and facilitates easy data capture from wireless sensors, whilst making it simpler to record and audit first responder data.
Elasmogen (Professor Andrew Porter and Dr Caroline Barelle): One of Aberdeen’s newest biotechnology companies, Elasmogen Ltd, develops small protein drugs called soloMERs™ for the treatment of cancers and inflammatory disease. The Elasmogen spin out has been supported by Scottish Enterprise and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
In the Social Enterprise Award category, BiomeBank, formed by two fourth year medical students, James McIlroy and Matthew Bracchi, is creating a convenient and affordable treatment for Clostridium difficile that will be available on the NHS.
Businesses formed at the University of Aberdeen boast a strong track record in the competition. In 2013, Saccade Diagnostics, a University of Aberdeen company spun out of technology designed to diagnose major adult psychiatric disorders via a form of eye test, scooped the Converge Challenge Award.
In 2014 Chukwudi Onyia & Jonas Marcius of Next Stage Health & Wellbeing Education, from the University of Aberdeen were joint winners in the KickStart Social Enterprise Award.
Ten new companies from across Scotland will be whittled down during the next round, with the best six going forward to the final ‘investor pitch’ stage for the main Converge Challenge prize on September 29, after which the winners will be selected by a panel of judges.