Unit DX, the scientific incubator in Bristol announces that its anchor tenant Ziylo has been acquired by global healthcare company Novo Nordisk A/S in an agreement that could exceed US$800 million. Ziylo’s innovative technology platform offers the potential to develop glucose responsive insulins, a ground-breaking treatment for diabetes patients worldwide.
Ziylo was co-founded by Dr Harry Destecroix, CEO while finishing his PhD in the Anthony Davis Lab at the University of Bristol. He is also the co-founder of Unit DX, along with Tom Smart, CFO and Keith MacDonald, Chairman.
The acquisition gives Novo Nordisk full rights to Ziylo’s glucose binding molecule platform to develop glucose responsive insulins. The development of this technology is a key strategic area for Novo Nordisk in its effort to develop this next generation of insulin, which would lead to a safer and more effective insulin therapy. A GRI would help eliminate the risk of hypoglycaemia, the main risk associated with insulin therapy and one of the main barriers to achieving optimal glucose control. Thus, a GRI could also lead to better metabolic control and therefore reduce the overall burden of diabetes for people living with the disease.
Prior to closing of the acquisition, certain research activities have been spun out of Ziylo to a new company, Carbometrics, which has entered into research collaboration with Novo Nordisk. This will assist with ongoing optimisation of glucose binding molecules for use in GRIs. Carbometrics has licensed rights to develop non-therapeutic applications of glucose binding molecules, with a focus on developing continuous glucose monitoring applications. It will remain on the Unit DX site in Bristol.
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Harry Destecroix, PhD, CEO of Ziylo and co-founder of Unit DX, said, “Novo Nordisk, as the leader in the diabetes field, is the ideal company to maximise the potential of the Ziylo glucose binding molecules in glucose responsive insulins and diabetes applications, and it brings hope of a truly ground-breaking treatment to diabetes patients.”
Keith MacDonald, Chairman and co-founder of Unit DX, commented, “Ziylo is the first major success coming out of the Unit DX Scientific Incubator. It was set up to incubate the next generation of science companies and help develop a new breed of science entrepreneurs. In a very short period of time, the incubator has grown to house 25 high-quality science driven companies and has been instrumental in retaining Bristol’s world-class scientific talent and research. I am pleased to say we now have a waiting list of companies wanting to join the incubator which is validation of the high-quality research in Bristol.”
Date: August 27, 2018