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Monthly Newsletter -

Welcome to the 30th Bionow Newsletter
In this month's Newsletter:

* Biotech News
* Company Profile
* Datamonitor
* Website of the Month
* Information
* Biotech Fun

Biotech News
Manchester based Renovo Ltd recently announced the appointment of Dr Ali Raza as Medical Director. Dr Raza has relocated to Renovo in Manchester from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, Delaware, USA, where recently he was the Executive Global Product Director and Global Team Leader for the Super Statin Programme.

Manchester based DxS Ltd recently announced they have signed a licence agreement for DxS' Scorpions™ technology to Sweden based Sangtec Molecular Diagnostics (SMD). Under the terms of the agreement SMD will gain access to Scorpions for the development of human in vitro diagnostic kits in clinical diagnostics.

Salford based Farfield Sensors have recently secured private investor funding to enable a push into the lucrative US market for its laser based microscopy technology. Funding has come from Manchester based Yorkshire Fund Managers who are managing NWDA's NW Business Investment Scheme.

Chester based Deva Biotechnology has recently been awarded a DTI SMART Feasibility grant of £45k to progress its anti-adhesive approach to anti-infection and anti-inflammation. For further information please contact John Cummins at

ML Laboratories whose headquarters are based at Warrington is to raise £14.3 million in a number of rights and share issues. The funding is required to take forward clinical development programmes including a surgical adhesion product, ADEPT currently in Phase III and hyperphosphataemia treatment currently in Phase II, the latter product is in co-development with Ineos Silicas based in Warrington.

A double celebration for Speke based Chiron Vaccines. Last year's acquisition of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals has helped net sales of Chiron Vaccines division almost double in 2003. This month (26th February) work is also starting on Chiron's new state of the art vaccines manufacturing plant in Speke. To commemorate the beginning of construction, the UK Minister of State for Health, the Right Honourable John Hutton MP, and Maria Eagle, MP for Liverpool Garston, unveiled a plaque on the site of the new 240,000 square foot production building. Linda Magee, Head of Bionow was also asked to say a few words on behalf of the NWDA in recognition of the £20m funding support package from the Agency.

New developments for Runcorn based Protherics - The company announced its first sales in Europe for Voraxaze™. The drug has been supplied on a named patient basis where there is an unmet clinical need. This is a treatment for patients at risk of kidney damage from methotrexate toxicity. Protherics plans to submit licensing application for Voraxaze™ to the US & European authorities in the near future. Protherics is also starting a new clinical programme to assess improved formulations of its Angiotensin Vaccine. This is a therapeutic vaccine designed to regulate blood pressure levels. Protherics has appointed Garry Watts a non-executive director. Mr Watts is the finance director and European director of SSL International, and a non-executive director of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

New cancer centre in Liverpool - The University of Liverpool's new world class Cancer Research Centre (ULCRC) was opened on 13th February by Professor Alex Markham, CEO of Cancer Research UK. The centre will benefit from a £20m investment and will be housed in the former Roy Castle International Centre, which has been purchased by the University. ULCRC will undertake a wide range of research into cancer as well as training scientists and health workers and will be recruiting two Chairs of International standing - one clinical and one academic.

Solvay has engaged the services of Macclesfield based Cyprotex plc to provide drug discovery support using its Cloe Screen™ technology. Cyprotex will screen compounds for Solvay's pharmaceuticals business to help prioritise the best R&D candidates and help them through the discovery and drug design process.

Lord Sainsbury visited the region on 30th January, where he met with business leaders at The Heath, Runcorn after giving a short speech and then went on to perform the formal opening of the MerseyBIO Incubator.

Company Profile
Advanced Medical Solutions Ltd. is a British technology company which specialises in developing and manufacturing advanced woundcare products for the £1 Billion Global Advanced Woundcare market. With two sites based in Winsford, in Cheshire, we are an R&D and manufacturing Company for woundcare products including alginates, films, foams, hydrocolloid and hydrogel dressings, and new advanced composite dressings based on these technologies.

Since formation twelve years ago, the company has invested in both production capabilities and R&D to become one of the leading suppliers of alginate dressings in the world, and a major player in the development and manufacture of other advanced woundcare products.

Our partners represent some of the biggest brand names in the woundcare business. As technology partner to these major blue-chip organisations, AMS will either approach them with an idea for a new product or, increasingly, a partner will approach us with a market opportunity and ask us to develop a product to meet that need. From that point our team of Scientists, Product Managers and Production Engineers work on all aspects of the product, from initial concept through to manufacture of the finished dressing, in the partner's branded packaging.

For further information contact:
Dr Andrew N Eaton, Marketing Manager
Advanced Medical Solutions Limited. Tel: +44 (0)1606 545542.

Datamonitor is pleased to support the work of Bionow. By reporting on the shape of the BioTech industry, Datamonitor aims to help Northwest firms stay one step ahead in the global marketplace.

Acambis was again in the news this past month. Whilst Gordon Cameron, acting chief executive at Acambis, was confirmed as new CEO of the company recently, the UK biotech firm also withdrew its FDA application for Arilvax. Acambis decided to withhold the application after Chiron, the US company from whom it licenses the Arilvax vaccine, brought forward plans to refit its manufacturing facility near Liverpool.

Acambis withdraws Arilvax application
Following discussions with the FDA, Acambis is to temporarily withdraw Arilvax, its for further review.

Bioenvision files IND application for Modrenal in prostate cancer treatment
Bioenvision, Inc has filed an Investigational New Drug application to consider the efficacy of Modrenal in patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer.

Promotional Alliances: co-promotion v co-marketing
With blockbuster drug sales growth forecast to slow considerably past 2005, pharmaceutical companies are under increasing pressure to find revenue growth. Companies are therefore expected to expand their use of licensing strategies to supplement product pipelines. But with Datamonitor research indicating that 60% of co-promotion alliances fail within five years, drug makers may need to review their marketing policies.

To qualify for your Bionow discount on Datamonitor products, please register by email to:, quoting Bionow as your reference. Alternatively, sign-up for a free report at:

Website of the Month -
What might Biotechnology developments lead to? The Phrenicea site aims to predict "The ultimate outcomes of the Internet and biotechnology revolutions" - Enjoy a glance into the future.

(Source: Genetic Engineering News)

Bionow Staff information - We have pleasure in announcing the appointment of Dr Mike Fisher as Deputy Head - International Relations to the Bionow team. Some of you may recall Mike was a Project Manager with Bionow a while ago and has returned to us after running a DTI biotechnology programme in the US and sometime with PERA consultancy.

We also have some sad news - Mrs Maria Woolverton who has been responsible for Marketing and Regional Relations will be leaving us at the end of this month for personal reasons. We wish Maria well in her relocation to London.

Global Watch Secondments - DTI funding is still available for life science companies to take advantage of an international secondment. Global Watch Secondments are designed to assist businesses to acquire technology, skills, techniques and knowledge and connections from abroad. Grants meet up to 50% of overall costs. Secondments can be outward or inward. For further information please contact Lorna Davies on tel +44 (0)1367 245210 or visit the website.

NewScientist UK Biotechnology Report, 13 March 2004 - Currently there has been resurgence in the US biotech sector but Europe is still in hibernation. In this special report, New Scientist will look at the UK sector in relation to the US and mainland Europe, and what needs to be done in the future to build on past successes. If you are looking to recruit, this report is the ideal place - it is always very well read within the industry, with bonus distribution to the biotech clusters ensuring a targeted audience. Bionow members will qualify for a 10% discount on advertising in this issue. Booking deadline is Friday 5 March 04. Please call +44 (0)20 8652 4444 or email to book.

Business Support & Funding Opportunities Workshop, 31st March 2004, Warrington - Bionow will be hosting this workshop to provide information on business support and funding. This event will specifically benefit companies who have R&D facilities and are developing products in the biotechnology/healthcare market. Amongst the schemes covered will be the Northwest Biotechnology Advisory Service (NWBFAS), this new scheme for the Northwest will provide supported access to industry expertise in:

  • raising finance
  • intellectual property protection
  • corporate legal advice
  • business planning

Invitations to this event have been sent to companies directly. However, if you would like to ensure you are included on the invitation list please contact Bionow.

Please also see information on the UKTI/Bionow Event to be held at Manchester Airport on 28th April 04 in Events section.

Kimadia Tender - A very large tender which has just been placed on the Kimadia web site (Medical requirement for the Ministry of Health, Iraq). The website link will take you through to the invitation and medical requirements for the tender. Please visit the website if you wish to bid or if the UKTI team can help you.

BioTech Fun
Please visit

Disclaimers and stuff!
If you would like to contribute an article or have any suggestions for the contents of future newsletters, please email - Particularly if you know a biotech related joke thatís actually funny!

Best regards,

Bionow, Northwest Development Agency, Renaissance House,
PO Box 37, Centre Park, Warrington, WA1 1XB
Tel: +44 (0) 1925 400100 Fax: +44 (0) 1925 400400

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