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Light-based medical start-up to receive expert guidance

(14 July 2017)

A Durham University start-up company that could provide new light-based medical treatments has been selected to benefit from expert help in becoming ready for investment which could turn their ideas into businesses. 

Lightox Ltd was founded by Dr Carrie Ambler, Department of Biosciences, and Professor Andrew Whiting, Department of Chemistry, along with Professor Mark Coles from University of York, and long-term collaborators High Force Research Ltd.

It is one of eight start-ups selected by an expert panel from the North of England Life Science Accelerator (NELSA) to receive specialist advice and support as they prepare to bid for investment.

Each business will have access to mentors, coaching and workshops to help them on the next stage of their commercial journey.

Lightox Ltd is developing new light-based treatments to target unwanted microbes and cells in the body. Their technology could provide treatment for infections, wounds and even cancerous cells that would avoid surgery or the use of antibiotics.

Dr Ambler, Assistant Professor in Biosciences, Durham University, said: “The bespoke guidance and support offered by the NELSA business and science mentors will help us navigate the transition from the university start-up we are to the independent commercial venture we are aspiring to become.”

The initial NELSA application process ended in January 2017 and 15 businesses were invited to take their ideas to a two-day business boot camp to progress them.

The NELSA initiative is anchored at Alderley Park’s BioHub and was launched in 2016.

Ned Wakeman, the director of BioCity which manages the BioHub, said:“The NELSA programme facilitates the creation and growth of more successful businesses by partnering innovative high quality academic research with the valuable industry and commercialisation expertise, funding, and structured programmes, available on site.”

Alderley Park’s BioHub boasts world class facilities for projects in healthcare and life sciences, including those in therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital. It is an international hub for entrepreneurial activity in the life science sector.

The Biohub is supported by science park operator ‘Manchester Science Partnerships’ and investment firms ‘Catapult Ventures’ and ‘Alderley Park Ventures’. It is also supported by collaboration organisations, the N8 Research Partnership and the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA). 

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