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New life sciences start-up at Medicentre

A warm Welcome to Nemesis Bioscience to Cardiff Medicentre

.A business that is pioneering a new approach to tackling the growing threat of antibiotic resistance has chosen Cardiff Medicentre as its base.

 Nemesis Bioscience Limited was founded in 2014 by microbiologist Frank Massam and molecular biologists Conrad Lichtenstein and Gi Mikawa. The company has so far been operating from its research laboratory in Cambridge. Now that its innovation has been confirmed as having proven potential, the team is ready to begin the journey towards clinical trials and commercialisation.

The company’s concept is around halting the significant problem of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. As this resistance develops, the danger is that antibiotics could eventually be of no use at all.

 “It’s a massive global issue,” says Massam. “But while conventional wisdom says that the way to deal with it is by developing new antibiotics, we have found a better way – one that effectively switches off the antibiotic resistance at its source.”

Nemesis’s method means that hospital patients who have picked up infections could be treated with special Nemesis SymbioticsÓ that inactivate antibiotic resistance. It also means that patients, even before they have undergone any procedures, could be pre-treated with Nemesis SymbioticsÓ to ward off problems. This is something that is expected to be particularly beneficial for patients entering the high-risk surgical environment.

“The Nemesis approach could in principle inactivate resistance to colistin, which is a newly emerging and worrying problem because this antibiotic is often used as an antibiotic of last resort,” said Massam. “This has been quite widely reported recently and it’s causing a lot of concern. But we think that our technology could be the answer, and it could also prevent the transmission of colistin-resistance to other species of bacteria.”

Massam and his team have a three-year programme in place to take their technologies through the process of testing. Phase one clinical trials are expected to have been completed within that timeframe.

“As with any new medtech or biotech idea, we’ve got some way to go before our Symbiotics can be used routinely,” explains Massam, “but we’re hugely confident and excited about what’s in store.”

The company has received seed funding from Finance Wales and has filed patent applications on its approach and technologies. Its work to date is attracting interest from both the public and private sectors and the business has already won King’s College Cambridge’s prestigious 2014 Entrepreneurship prize, as well as an award from Innovate UK for its novel delivery method.

“This is a very new concept, but one with huge potential,” says Massam. “Cardiff Medicentre offers us the perfect environment in which to build on what we have done so far. There’s a good academic network here, being so close to teaching hospitals, and a thriving life sciences community. And Cardiff has some superb support structures in place and an impressive university talent pool.”

Rob Jackson, Innovation Manager at Cardiff Medicentre says, “Nemesis is one to watch. The combination of ideas, talent and drive stands the business in great stead to make a real name for itself in the bioscience field.”




Published on Wed, 9th Dec 2015

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