Spin out opens Glasgow facility

Published: 1 February 2002

The University of Glasgow spin out, Adaptive Screening Ltd, has opened a new facility in Glasgow and appointed a graduate as CEO.

Adaptive Screening Ltd (ASL), a spin out resulting from a collaboration between The University of Glasgow, Imperial College, London and the Generics Group, has recently opened a 1000 Square foot nanotechnology research facility in the Diagnostics Incubator Centre in Glasgow, and has appointed The University of Glasgow alumnus Dr Frank Craig as its first CEO and President.

Dr Craig, who will take up his position with ASL in March, was previously Vice President of Research and Development at Amersham Biosciences, where he had global responsibility for developing leading-edge systems for the drug discovery and development sector. Prior to that position, he was also a Founder and Vice-President of Technology Strategy at Aurora Biosciences, a highly successful biotech company, based in San Diego, USA, which pioneered ultra-high-throughput screening as a new approach for drug discovery.

ASL combines the intellectual property (IP) and technical expertise of Professor Jon Cooper of the University of Glasgow and Professor Tony Cass of Imperial College, London. Dr. Darrin Disley, COO and co-founder added this know-how to his experience of discovery technology to help architect the new venture. The company has, to date, secured seed financing from Generics.

The company's innovative technology and rapid growth has led to it making the final short-list in the Innovation: "One to Watch" category of the East of England Business Awards 2001. The company is now nearing completion of a first financing round when it expects to raise $15m. ASL will use finances from this funding round to expand product development and accelerate marketing of its molecular and cellular profiling systems, bioassays and decision-making informatics tools.

On his appointment, Dr Craig said: "I am delighted and excited about this new position. The Company has a world-class technology base, Scientific Advisory Board and management team. Our plan to integrate emerging science in the area of bionanotechnology with novel instrumentation and informatics platforms is both pioneering and visionary. We have had an excellent response from the investor community and expect to close our first-round financing within the next few months."

Dr Craig will lead ASL's efforts to develop the pharmaceutical industry's first comprehensive system for nano-scale molecular profiling to accelerate lead and target validation. Both of these areas represent huge bottlenecks and areas of major investment for the pharmaceutical industry. Utilisation of this system, with its decision-making capabilities, could triple the number of successful New Chemical Entities generated by big pharma partners.

Prof. Jon Cooper, co-founder of ASL and manager of the incubated facility in Glasgow said "Whilst many of ASL's core products are being developed in our own headquarters in Cambridge, we are very excited that the leading edge research in bionanotechnology, including work on both automated micro-fluidic systems and intercellular ADMET assays, is being carried out here, in Scotland".


Media Relations Office (media@gla.ac.uk)

Contacts: Sophie Anderson, PR Manager sophie.anderson@adaptive-screening.com

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 875200; Web http://www.adaptive-screening.com.html

Or University of Glasgow Press Office: +44 (0) 141 330 3535

Notes for Editors:

1 The University of Glasgow is a leading UK University with an international reputation for teaching excellence and has one of the largest research bases in the UK. It has an annual income from research grants and contracts of >?60M and is active in research in fields including medicine, molecular biology nanotechnology and bioelectronics. The University has a strong reputation for commercialising technology and is an equity partner in several of the UK?s fastest growing start-up companies including Kymata, Actis and Intense Photonics.

2 Imperial College of Science, Medicine and Technology is one of the UK?s leading academic institutions and is active in the commercialisation of research. New companies being spun out at a rate currently exceeding one per month encompass the fields of IT/telecomms, biotechnology, bio-informatics and environmental science. The College now has one of the highest research incomes of any UK university (?117 million) and is consistently rated in the top three UK universities for research and development quality.

3 The Generics Group is an integrated technology consulting, development and investment company, with an international reputation for successfully exploiting emerging science and technology for commercial markets.

4 Dr Frank Craig is an industry leader in the creation and management of teams that provide enabling technologies to the pharmaceutical drug discovery and development market. He has a PhD in Microbiology, and post-doctoral experience in molecular biology, from the University of Glasgow. Dr Craig then moved to gain experience in technology development and management at Amersham International and the New Lead Discovery Division at GlaxoSmithKline. In 1996, Dr Craig co-founded Aurora Biosciences Corporation in San Diego, USA. This company was the first to pioneer ultra-HTS, an approach that is now the industry-standard method for lead discovery. Aurora went public on the NASDAQ Exchange within 14 months of start-up, achieved a market capitalisation of $1.5 b and was sold to Vertex in 2000 for $600 m. Most recently, Dr Craig was a VP of R&D at Amersham Biosciences where he managed an international, multidisciplinary team of around 145 people focusing on systems development for the ultra-HTS & drug development sectors. Dr Craig has business qualifications from Warwick Business School.



First published: 1 February 2002