Redx Pharma awarded £4.7 million grant for new spin out
Early stage drug development company Redx Pharma has been awarded a £4.7 million grant from the UK Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to support the launch of a new £10.8 million research and development centre focused on anti-viral and anti-bacterial drugs.
The funding will enable the establishment of a new subsidiary, Redx Anti-Infectives Ltd, which will create 119 high value science jobs, based in Liverpool. The posts will be within chemistry, biochemistry and analytical testing. A further 28 specialist jobs are expected to be created within the wider supply chain.
Redx Anti-Infectives Logotype image
The RGF support will be mirrored by £6.1 million of new private investment brokered by Manchester-based Acceleris Corporate Finance and sourced from a combination of commercial partnering revenue and shareholder equity.
This is the second successful award for Redx having previously won RGF backing for the launch of its first spin out, Redx Oncology Ltd, a cancer research and development subsidiary which currently employs more than 50 people in Liverpool.
Redx Anti-Infectives will begin operations in April 2013. The funds, which are subject to a due diligence process, will support an initial two-year industrial research phase of chemistry, biochemistry and analytical testing. The new R&D venture will focus on developing drugs to combat resistance to antibiotics and new medicines to tackle viral infections. These include developing anti-infective drugs tackling hard to treat infections, including the growing threat of drug resistant superbugs like MRSA, as well as conditions such as influenza, Hepatitis C and HIV.
Dr Neil Murray, chief executive of Redx Pharma, commented: "We are obviously delighted to receive a second RGF award and eagerly anticipate applying our approach to the critical area of anti-infectives. The World Health Organisation has identified drug resistance, particularly in the area of anti-biotics, as one of the most pressing human health concerns globally. We believe that the fresh thinking and original approach that we apply will create effective solutions. Redx is a discovery engine for global pharma and it is innovative and agile companies like ours that can help the industry adapt to a new model of research and development where there is more willingness to outsource some of the challenges involved in creating new proprietary medicines. At Redx, our methods have already uncovered commercial potential that might otherwise have been missed and our approach can help partners to bring new medicines to market faster."
Photo of Business Secretary Vince Cable with Dr Neil Murray
Business Secretary Vince Cable
with Dr Neil Murray
The UK Government Business Secretary Vince Cable visited the Redx Oncology laboratories to announce the company's award as well as meet staff and see the progress from their round two project.
Vince Cable said: "The Regional Growth Fund is creating the long-term growth and jobs that Liverpool and the North West needs. Every project supports important local priorities and there is a good alignment with key sectors in our Industrial Strategy including automotive, aerospace and life sciences as illustrated here today at Redx Pharma."
"Redx Pharma's previous award from round two has already helped them establish an impressive oncology research centre and has created over 50 new jobs since April this year. I look forward to seeing the progress of the vital drugs research that they are carrying out which will maintain the UK's competitiveness within the life sciences industry and deliver benefits for patients."
Redx Pharma itself was launched in 2010. It develops therapeutic remedies based on existing classes of drugs, structurally modifying them to create new proprietary medicines. Benefits for patients include fewer side effects, greater efficacy and ease of use for people. Redx achieves revenues by entering into licensing agreements with mid-sized and large pharmaceutical partners who undertake further clinical studies with promising new drug compounds.
Redx plans to become the cornerstone tenant for the development of Liverpool's new Bio-Innovation Centre development, a £28m project planned to go ahead on land owned by the Royal Liverpool Hospital. The creation of a biomedical centre was one of the recommendations made by Lord Heseltine in his 2011 report on growth in the Liverpool City Region.