University of Glasgow partners with Portage Pharmaceuticals

Image of George Baillie

A new joint venture company which brings together the University of Glasgow and Portage Pharmaceuticals is aiming to develop more effectively-targeted drugs to treat chronic conditions including cancer.

Portage Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of the British Virgin Islands-based Portage Biotech,Inc. (OTCQB: PTGEF, Canadian Stock Exchange: PBT.U), is providing an undisclosed funding injection to the new business, called Portage Glasgow Limited, along with a limited license to its CellPorter™ peptide delivery technology.

The University of Glasgow’s Professor George Baillie will provide input on therapeutic peptides and access to a therapeutic peptide discovery platform.

Portage Glasgow will build on the University of Glasgow’s expertise in precision medicine, a fast-developing area of treatment which aims to provide better outcomes for patients by providing drugs tailored to their specific needs.

The new venture will focus on the commercialisation of new therapies aimed at disrupting protein-protein interactions (PPI) in disease pathways which give therapeutic benefit. Candidate peptides and PPI targets have already been identified from existing research at the University.

Dr Frank W. Marcoux is a founding Director and the CEO of the new venture, called Portage Glasgow Limited. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Portage Pharmaceuticals and has over 25 years of drug development experience in a variety of senior management roles at Pfizer and Parke-Davis, culminating with an eight year tenure as Vice President, Pfizer Global Research and Development.

Professor George Baillie is the academic founding director of the company. He is the Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow’s School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health and worked for 15 years on publically and privately-funded research in phosphodiesterase enzymes and protein-protein interactions.

Prof Neal Juster, Chairman of GU Holdings Ltd, said: “Portage Glasgow is an exciting new venture enabled by the university’s world changing research base in the understanding and treatment of chronic diseases. We believe the company has the potential to make a significant impact on unmet healthcare needs worldwide.”

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, Regius Professor of Medicine, Vice Principal and Head of the University of Glasgow’s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences said: “We are delighted that Professor George Baillie’s discovery will be translated into new cancer therapeutics within the new Portage Glasgow. This will add value to our strategic leadership in precision medicine in Scotland, UK and internationally”.

Dr Declan Doogan, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Portage Biotech commented: ‘‘This is a great example of a collaboration between commercial drug developers and academic researchers who have the potential to deliver truly cutting edge much needed treatments to patients worldwide. I am excited to be associated with this Glasgow based enterprise.”

Professor George Baillie said: “The combination of Portage’s unique peptide delivery system and my group’s expertise in targeted disruption of specific protein complexes brings real potential to make headway in discovering new therapeutics against a variety of diseases with unmet need. I am truly excited by the possibilities.”

For more information contact Ross Barker in the University of Glasgow Communications and Public Affairs Office on 0141 330 3535 or email


First published: 20 February 2018