Members of the Scottish Parliament Welcome Investment in Aurum Biosciences Ltd, a Spin Out Company of NHSGGC and the University of Glasgow
Scottish start-up company, Aurum Biosciences Ltd (www.aurumbiosciences.com) that has developed an innovative technology with the potential to save and improve the lives of thousands of people who’ve had a stroke, has been commended in the Scottish Parliament. In a parliamentary motion initiated by Bob Doris MSP, the deputy convener of the Health and Sports Committee, members of the Scottish Parliament welcomed a recent £3m ($4.5m) of investment into the company. Aurum Biosciences which spun out from a collaboration between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the University of Glasgow, will use these funds to implement clinical trials of its lead technology GOLD. These trials in stroke patients are planned to take place in the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, in Glasgow. This is a ground-breaking technology that will not only acts as a stroke treatment, but will also allow doctors to detect brain tissue at risk, thus helping doctors to diagnose and improve the care of stroke victims.
The funding for Aurum, which will allow it to progress through a phase 2 clinical trial, included £1.86m from the Wellcome Trust, with significant contributions from angel investment group TRICap, the Scottish Investment Bank, UK and US private investors. Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL), the commercial innovation arm of the NHS in Scotland played a critical role in helping to establish Aurum and bringing the funding package together.
Stroke is the second biggest killer worldwide with 1 in 6 people having a stroke by the age or 75. Someone has a stroke worldwide every 2 seconds and approximately 152,000 people a year suffer from a stroke in the UK alone and 7 million worldwide. However, there is only one authorised medicine to treat acute stroke, unlike the dozens of products available to treat other major diseases such as cancer or heart disease. To date, spending on stroke research and development has been low in the UK, with only £48 spent on research per stroke patient, compared to £241 spent on cancer. [State of Nation -Stroke Statistics 2015]
The worldwide acute stroke market was valued at $19.2 billion in 2013 and is forecast to reach $28.3 billion by 2019 [BCC Research].
Dr Celestine Santosh, inventor of the technology, NHSGGC employee, and Aurum CMO/CSO said: “Aurum Biosciences is a pharmaceutical company, which is initially developing its novel GOLD technology. This technology uses an injectable oxygen carrier which, if injected shortly after stroke is expected to protect brain tissue at risk and reduce the impact of stroke on the patient. This injectable agent when used with MRI scanners will also allow clinicians to detect the areas of the brain under risk, allowing them treat patients who currently are not eligible. This completely innovative technology will revolutionise the way that stroke is managed and will help to increase the number of lives saved and further improve the lives of those who recover from stroke”
Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Glasgow and Deputy Convener of the Health and Sport Committee said:
“I am delighted that potentially transformational research is being carried out here in Glasgow and that this has been a progressive partnership including both Scotland’s NHS and the Scottish Investment Bank.
“I know the Scottish Government is committed to supporting innovation in health research to boost outcomes for our communities. I welcome the leadership being shown by Aurum Biosciences and I very much hope this investment will prove to have a significant impact on how we are able to treat and reduce otherwise deadly instances of stroke.”
AURUM BIOSCIENCES LTD (www.aurumbiosciences.com) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics and diagnostics. The company’s lead technology, for Acute Ischaemic Stroke (AIS) and potentially other life-threatening and serious conditions, was conceived by inventor and Aurum Chief Scientific and Medical Officer Dr Celestine Santosh. Follow-on indications include heart disease, cancer, epilepsy, and dementia. Aurum, headed by a team of experts in the field, has already taken the stroke management product (named “GOLD”) through preclinical development and is currently planning clinical studies of efficacy and safety.