The University of Nottingham spin-out business, Locate Therapeutics, has announced the completion of an equity investment from the precious metal and technology group, Heraeus Holding.
Locate Therapeutics has developed a material which can be squirted into broken bones, which hardens within minutes. The ‘injectable bone’ substance, which looks similar to toothpaste, creates a biodegradable scaffold which the bone is then able to grow over.
A unique method for tissue repair
Locate, a specialist regenerative medicine and device company, has been incubated by The University of Nottingham. With grant funding and financial assistance from Wellcome Trust and the University, the company has developed TAOS™ a patented platform polymer technology with multiple medical applications.
The TAOS (Targeted, Orchestrated Signaling) technology is a world first in tissue repair. It enables the precision focus of therapeutic signals and provides a 'scaffold' to support tissue repair. Uniquely, TAOS can accommodate and promote the actions of receptor-binding moieties, locally-applied drugs, and emergent biological & cell-based therapies.
Although the financial terms of the investment have not been disclosed by Heraeus, their backing forms part of a multi-million pound funding package secured by Locate, includes a grant of £1.4m from the Technology Strategy Board.
Maximising the therapeutic potential
As part of a new strategic initiative to accelerate its product development pipeline, Heraeus has been actively seeking enabling technologies and development partners in the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine, and Jan Rinnert, Chairman of the Board of Management at Heraeus Holding said: “We have been impressed by the scientifically robust way in which Locate has developed and validated TAOS. This is an exciting technology which will enable Heraeus to expand its regenerative medicine pipeline.”
Commenting for Locate, Ashley Cooper, CEO said: “We are delighted to have secured an investment from a company that really understands the needs and opportunities that exist in the regenerative medicine field and which is investing for the long term. This gives us great confidence that we will be able to fully exploit the therapeutic and commercial potential of TAOS”.
Developing vital regenerative medicine solutions
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Locate, Professor Kevin Shakesheff believes the investment will enable the business to develop its applications more quickly: “Locate is focused on clinical problems in which regeneration of human tissue will displace biomaterial or drug therapies in the next decade. With this investment and the continued support of Heraeus we will be able to expedite the commercial development of the most promising and needed regenerative medicine applications of TAOS”.
Dr Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property Commercialisation at The University of Nottingham, added: “The investment by Heraeus Holdings is excellent news as it will enable Locate to move to the next stage of its development. The outstanding work which Locate is doing is a great example of the kinds of innovative technologies that are being developed here at the University.”
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