Press Release: Imperial spin-out, NanoBioDesign, Secures Investment for Novel Drug Discovery Technology

Imperial spin-out, NanoBioDesign, Secures Investment for Novel Drug Discovery Technology LONDON, July 6, 2007--Imperial Innovations Group plc, the technology commercialisation and investment company (AIM: IVO) and The Capital Fund, the £50 million Regional Venture Capital Fund for London, today announce that together they have invested £500,000 in NanoBioDesign Limited (NBD), a company developing a range of toxicity screening systems to speed up the drug discovery process. The company will use the funds to secure contracts with manufacturers to produce their array technology, which has applications in the pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetics industries. NBD is developing a new way of testing drugs on P450 liver enzymes that could potentially improve the safety of new medicines and reduce the costs associated with drug discovery. The liver acts like a chemical factory, breaking down foreign materials and allowing them to be excreted. The study of how new pharmaceuticals and other chemical agents react with P450 enzymes is critical to their development and an area that the Food and Drug Administration has highlighted as being in need of innovation. NBD‘s new high throughput device is based on research by Professor Gianfranco Gilardi, co-founder and Research Director of NBD, in the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College London. It will enable tests on drug reaction with the liver to be conducted faster and with a higher degree of accuracy than is currently possible. In addition, it will become possible to undertake rapid testing on generic variants of enzymes and study drug-drug interactions, in order to avoid one drug cancelling out the effects of another drug, which could result in unwanted side effects. NBD’s unique approach has already attracted the attention of a number of pharmaceutical companies and contract research organisations with whom it is in discussion about the co-development of this novel technology. Dr. Steve Collins, co-founder and CEO of NanoBioDesign, said: “NBD has reached a crucial stage of market development and this financing round will allow the Company to develop its platform on an industrial scale.” Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Innovations said: “Our investment emphasises our commitment to the development of NBD’s technology. We are confident that the investment will accelerate the growth of NBD and help provide a valuable new tool for the drug discovery process.” Ian Cameron, Investment Director at The Capital Fund, said: “The Capital Fund is pleased to provide NDB with investment to develop its novel screening technology that will pay a key role in new drug development. The main causes of drug failures are safety and lack of effectiveness. NBD’s disruptive technology has the potential to reduce both of these problems by creating a greatly improved test for drug toxicity and drug-drug interaction. Steve Collins and his management team bring substantial technical and business skills to the venture and are well-placed to exploit the significant opportunity to improve the drug discovery process.”