The fortunes of Cambridge’s first plant-based biotech, Phytopharm, have been transformed by last October’s acquisition of IXICO Ltd – a medical technology and diagnostics business – and created a commercial animal with growing global traction.Chairman Andy Richards, a serial life sciences entrepreneur in the Cambridge UK cluster, reveals stunning progress since what was effectively a reverse takeover by London-based IXICO into Phytopharm.
Under the IXICO brand the company has boosted its product pipeline, pushed into Asia and won fresh grant funding to underpin its efforts, Richards reports. Nine of the world’s top 15 Big Pharma players have now awarded contracts to the new company.
Since the acquisition, IXICO has launched its CE-marked Assessa™ diagnostic platform with a market-leading partner, continued its planned commercialisation of products and services in Asia and been awarded additional grant funding as part of a prestigious consortium of research and commercial collaborators.
IXICO says its core clinical trials and experimental medicine business continues to generate ongoing revenues from key customers and has been awarded contracts with four new customers since the acquisition was completed.
In December, IXICO was awarded a contract to provide clinical trials services to an early phase clinical trial for an investigational drug for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
And in January IXICO won a contract to provide clinical trials services for a new Phase II neurodegeneration study. The company has now been awarded contracts by nine of the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies and has also been awarded business by two new Asian based pharmaceutical customers.
The board believes the business is positioned strongly in its core clinical trials and experimental medicine markets.
Richards said: “We are delighted to have completed this major strategic evolution for the group and look forward with optimism and enthusiasm.
“The launch of Assessa™ is an important landmark in IXICO’s corporate history and we look forward to updating shareholders on its progress as we develop international markets for it.
“Our clinical trials and experimental medicine businesses remain central to the group and we look forward to continuing to support our customers and partners in these clinically and commercially important markets.”
The merger was triggered last autumn after headline results from Phytopharm’s Phase II clinical trial of its experimental pharmaceutical treatment Cogane™ in Parkinson’s disease indicated that the drug had not demonstrated clinically meaningful efficacy.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Andy Richards