University spin out company Elasmogen Ltd wins "Perfect Pitch" biotechnology award

A spin-out company from the University of Aberdeen which develops sight-saving drugs has picked up an award at Europe's leading conference for bringing investors, pharmaceutical executives and innovative life science R&D companies together.

Elasmogen Ltd CEO, Dr Caroline Barelle - an honorary research fellow at the University of Aberdeen – won the ‘Perfect Pitch’ session at the BioTrinity 2016 conference – a scheme designed toincrease the number of ways biotechnology companies can connect with potential investors and corporate partners.

From an original list of 104 show-case companies, 10 company CEO’s were originally selected to deliver investment pitches to half a dozen seasoned investors.  From this short-list, a final 4 companies were selected to pitch again, after which Elasmogen was judged the winner.

Elasmogen spun out in February 2016 and to date has raised £2.8m in grant and equity funding to commercialise its soloMERä drugs and in particular its pipeline of auto-immune products in pre-clinical development for inflammatory eye and gut diseases. 

 “I was delighted and a little surprised to be selected to present as we are such a young company,” said Dr Barelle. “To go on and win in front of a distinguished panel of investors’ shows just how far the team has come in such a short period of time. 

“Our primary objective at Elasmogen is to develop sight-saving therapies for patients that suffer with an inflammatory eye disease called Uveitis.  In particular we are focussing our effects on a population of Uveitis patients that are refractory to current therapies and who will almost certainly go on to develop irreversibly loss of part or all of their sight.   Unlike other therapies that are injected into patients our soloMER technology will allow topical, site-specific delivery directly into the eye, maximising their efficacy and minimising any harmful side-effects.”

Elasmogen is one of a number of biologics companies to come out of the thriving cluster of drug-discovery companies now found in Aberdeen. soloMER technology exploits the power of biologics (proteins) as drugs but in a small, 1/12 the size of an antibody, stable format that enables site-specific delivery through complex and challenging environments like the eye and gut.  Unique to Elasmogen, and protected by a portfolio of granted patents, soloMERs are pre-disposed to generating potent neutralisers by binding in a unique way to drug targets. Their small size, shows the potential for site-specific delivery to the eye but Elasmogen is also developing them, in collaboration with others, to penetrate and kill solid cancer tumours.

Dr Liz Rattray, Director of Research & Innovation said: "We are delighted with Elasmogen and Caroline's success at Bio-Trinity.  Elasmogen represents one of our latest spin-outs from the University of Aberdeen, and continues to demonstrate our track record of identifying and nurturing these exciting opportunities furthering the development of the commercial life science sector in Aberdeen.”