Innovation passport takes Scottish company’s acute stroke treatment to next level

Aurum Biosciences, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company based in Scotland has been awarded an Innovation Passport for its breakthrough stroke technology

A 2015 spinout company of InnoScot Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the University of Glasgow, Aurum Biosciences develops therapeutics and diagnostics in areas of unmet clinical need.

Aurum Biosciences’ lead product ABL-101 has now been recognised by the United Kingdom’s Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP), and the company believes there is a strong opportunity to improve the lives of patients suffering from acute ischaemic stroke (AIS) – the leading global cause of disability and the second leading cause of death.

The Innovation Passport was awarded by the ILAP steering group which includes the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) It acts as a gateway to accelerate innovative products to market thereby improving patient access to important new treatments.

To qualify for the pathway, new medicines must target a condition that is life-threatening or seriously debilitating; or an area of significant patient or public health need.

The award of the passport is recognition that Aurum’s patented ABL-101 platform technology has the potential to offer the first major advancement in the management of acute stroke patients in more than two decades. It not only delivers oxygen to brain tissue under stress beyond the clot in the critical hours following stroke, but further provides acute stroke diagnostics and helps to identify treatable brain tissue. This could save lives and lead to better outcomes for stroke survivors around the world.

Although the Innovation Passport awarded to Aurum Biosciences focuses on treatment of AIS, a single Passport can cover multiple future indications where the same active substance is used. Future development of ABL-101 will be explored in other high need clinical areas including cardiology, oncology, inflammatory conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Aurum Biosciences’ CEO David Brennan said: “I am extremely pleased that Aurum have been granted the Innovation Passport which further confirms the significant clinical need for our ABL-101 technology. We look forward to actively engaging with key stakeholders through the ILAP process to help bring our life-saving technology to patients as quickly as possible.

“We believe that the potential worldwide patient benefit for ABL-101 is vast. One in six people have a stroke in their lifetime, 5.8 million die each year as a consequence, and disability increases by 1% for every nine minutes of stroke.

“ABL-101 for stroke treatment remains a fundamental driver for us, but the opportunity in cardiology, oncology, spinal cord injury, inflammatory conditions, and more is significant. We believe the Innovation Passport represents the start of us fully realising that opportunity.”

Executive Chair of InnoScot Health, Graham Watson said: “The awarding of the Innovation Passport confirms the significant clinical need for, and clear potential around, Aurum Bioscience’s technology, initially in tackling AIS but also in targeting other life-threatening and serious conditions.

“It offers a genuine and significant opportunity to ensure new and innovative products reach patients across the UK, safely and quickly.

“We are delighted to have played a role in Aurum Biosciences’ journey as a truly pioneering Scottish company. This milestone, combined with ambitious development plans and widespread investor interest, is another step towards delivering a wide spectrum of health, social, and economic benefits.”

The company continues to attract significant international investment and collaborators, most recently from the US and Switzerland.

In 2020, it raised around £670,000 as part of a round of equity funding, enabling it to develop its important new treatments and diagnostics.

That funding round was supported by InnoScot Health, Infinion Biopharma Limited (Infinion), the Scottish Investment BankTRICAPITAL business angel syndicate, and individual investors.