IP Group invest in University of Glasgow spin-out company

Issued: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 00:00:00 GMT

IP Group plc, the intellectual property commercialisation company, has made its first investment in a University of Glasgow spin-out company.

IP Group, which announced its new partnership with the University of Glasgow in October last year, has invested £400,000 in Wireless bioDevices Limited which has been set up to commercialise wireless sensor technology for use in medical diagnostics.

Based on wireless sensor technology developed by Professor Jon Cooper and Professor David Cumming of the University of Glasgow's Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, the company's first product will be a diagnostic pill that detects early signs of bowel cancer. The electronic pill will take measurements as it passes through the body, transmitting the data via a wireless link to a small unit attached externally to the patient. Potentially the device could be used to detect a large range of medically important markers.

Nick Wood, who has been working with the University of Glasgow for the last 12 months under funding from the Scottish Enterprise Glasgow/ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) CEO Designate programme, is Wireless bioDevices' Chief Executive Officer. Mr Wood is a serial entrepreneur and a founder of Sagentia, the UK listed technology group. Through his incubation company, daVinci Ventures Limited, Mr Wood now specialises in technology commercialisation, working with University spin-outs and start-up companies around the UK.

The CEO Designate program was devised by the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and Caledonian along with Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and secured funding from ERDF. The programme was set up in 2005 to enable the universities to hire CEO's pre-incorporation to lead the development of spin-out ventures and to manage the businesses through the early stages of their formation. Wireless bioDevices is the first of four projects currently receiving this support at the University of Glasgow.

Professor Steve Beaumont, VP Research & Enterprise, said: 'We are delighted to launch the first spinout company under our partnership with the IP Group. Wireless bioDevices is based on a combination of technologies developed by our bioelectronics and microelectronics research groups with the support of our life scientists. It is an excellent example of how the University is bringing together experts from many fields to create products that can make a real difference to people's lives.'

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: 'We are delighted to have made our first investment in a Glasgow spin-out company so soon after signing a partnership agreement with the university. Based on ground-breaking technology, Wireless bioDevices is well positioned to meet the needs of its target markets.'

Nick Wood, Chief Executive of Wireless bioDevices, said: 'The University's technology is set to revolutionise medical diagnostics, making it possible to take measurements of conditions deep inside the human body. Our first product will have a major impact on diagnosing bowel diseases, and particularly bowel cancer which kills half a million people every year around the world. I am delighted to be leading this exciting opportunity.'

Further information:

IP Group plc

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer 020 7489 5200

Liz Vaughan-Adams (communications) 020 7489 5206/07979853802

Buchanan Communications 020 7466 5000 Mark Court, Tim Anderson, Mary-Jane Johnson

Wireless bioDevices Nick Wood, Chief Executive Officer 07768 615115

University of Glasgow

Professor Steve Beaumont, Vice Principal, Research & Enterprise 0141 330 2112

Martin Shannon, Media Relations Officer 0141 330 8593

Martin Shannon (m.shannon@admin.gla.ac.uk)


IP Group

IP Group Plc is an intellectual property (IP) commercialisation company that specialises in commercialising university technology. Founded in 2001, IP Group listed on AiM in October 2003 and moved to the Official List in June 2006. It has made two acquisitions to date - Techtran, a company set up to commercialise university intellectual property under a long term contract with the University of Leeds, in 2005 and Top Technology Ventures, an investment adviser to early stage technology venture capital funds, in 2004.

The group has formed long-term partnerships with ten universities - the University of Oxford, King's College London, CNAP/University of York, the University of Leeds, the University of Bristol, the University of Surrey, the University of Southampton, Queen Mary (University of London), the University of Bath and the University of Glasgow.

As at 30 June 2006, 44 spin-out companies had been created among the group's university partners. Of those, eight have listed on the AiM market of the London Stock Exchange and there have been two trade sales.

For more information, please visit www.ipgroupplc.com.

University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is one of the UK's leading universities with an international reputation for its research and teaching and an important role in the cultural and commercial life of the country.

With almost 16,000 undergraduate and 4,000 postgraduate students, it is one of the country's largest universities. Employing 5,700 staff, it is a major employer in the city and, with an annual turnover of ?285M, it makes a substantial contribution to the local economy. The University's world-class research base includes pioneering work in the fields of medicine, engineering, ethics, physics, and astronomy. The University is also leading the way in ultramodern disciplines like bioelectronics, cell signalling, nanotechnology, and optoelectronics.