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Mercia Biotech formed

The University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham, via their technology transfer organisations, Warwick Ventures and BRDL, are pleased to announce the formation of Mercia Biotech, a joint venture between the universities aimed at exploiting biotechnology and medical innovations. The objective, in the first instance, will be to audit and commercially exploit healthcare and biomedical technologies originating within these organisations and associated hospital NHS Teaching Trusts.

At Birmingham

Renowned research at the University of Birmingham is generated through the University’s School of Biosciences, which is organised into five themes: environmental biology, molecular cell biology, molecular microbiology, plant genetics and cell biology and structural biology.

The University of Birmingham Medical School, associated with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, has an international reputation in research and treatment of cancer that covers the fields of genetics, signal transduction, viral oncology and immunology, immunotherapy and clinical trials.

Research conducted within the Pharmacology Department includes neurological diseases and conditions such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, affective disorders and pain.

The antimicrobial Agents Research Group, part of the Division of Immunity and Infection, studies the mode of action of antibacterial agents and resistance mechanisms. Current research focuses upon bacteria that infect the respiratory tract and food borne bacteria, the mechanisms of multiple drug resistance; and the mechanisms by which antibodies accumulate within bacteria cells.

BRDL has appointed Mr Jon Cullen as BEP Manager to develop commercial exploitatio in the medical and biosciences field and will be assisted by a Medical Consultant, whose appointment is to be confirmed.

At Warwick, Leicester and Coventry

The University of Warwick has an internationally acclaimed Biological Sciences Department that conducts research in the fields of microbiology, virology, molecular cell bology, cell and molecular development ecology and epidemiology, in addition to more recently established groups in protein structure, neurobiology and molecular medicine.

Medical research will be generated within the recently founded Warwick / Leicester Medical School, as well as participating NHS hospitals that include the Walsgrave Hospital and University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire (Coventry). The Warwick Hosiptal (Warwick) and George Elliott Hospital (Nuneaton) will also be associated with the BEP joint venture. Additionally, there should also be exciting research opportunities, combining biomedical research with other multidisciplinary areas within the university, such as computing and engineering.

Warwick Ventures has recently appointed Denise Curnow as Business Development Manager to develop commercial exploitation in the medical and biosciences field.

Existing Experience

Mercia Biotechnology will facilitate the patenting, licensing and creation of spin-out companies from biomedical research, employing Warwick Ventures and BRDL’s commercial expertise, which will stimulate the local and national economy.