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Further competition success for Anna and Natalie

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Further competition success for Anna and Natalie





PhD students Anna King and Natalie Cureton have won £10,000 in the Oxbridge Roundtable (OBR) OneStart competition for their business, LipoPep.


This latest success comes hot on the heels of winning first prize in the Technology category of the Venture Further 2013 business start-up competition.


The OneStart competition is the largest biotech idea competition in the world and showcased the top 10 finalist’s biotech ideas to an audience of pharmaceutical industry professionals, venture capitalists and academics. Although the duo didn’t win the top prize, judges were so impressed with their pitch that they presented them with a special runners-up prize.


Natalie commented: “We are delighted to have won and are currently talking about how best to spend the money. We’ve been offered lots of support and advice to help take our research towards clinical trials.”


Along with their supervisor Dr. Lynda Harris, Anna and Natalie pitched their business plan to a panel of judges including Jens Eckstein, President at SROne; Daniel Perez, Founder and President at OBR; Maria Bobadilla, Senior Director in Academic Innovation Partnering at Roche; Ian Tomlinson, Head of Biopharmaceuticals Research and Development and Worldwide Business Development at GSK; Kate Bingham, Managing Partner at SV Life Sciences and Andrew Sandham, Chairman and CEO at Kymab.


“The support from the Enterprise Centre has been great; it has given us the confidence to take part in these competitions.” 

Anna and Natalie, studying for PhDs in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, also won the runner-up prize in the Venture Out 2012 ideas competition and Anna studied the Innovation and Commercialisation of Research unit run by the Enterprise Centre.


Anna added: “The support from the Enterprise Centre has been great; it has given us the confidence to take part in these competitions.”


LipoPep is a targeted drug delivery system that allows for existing therapeutics to be actively and selectively delivered to the placenta, providing the first treatment option for pregnancy complications.


Placental abnormalities affect approximately 10% of pregnancies worldwide and cost in excess of $40 billion per year. Such abnormalities lead to pre-eclampsia and foetal growth restriction, which result in an increased risk of stillbirth, premature birth, neonatal death and poor health in adulthood.  Currently there is no therapeutic intervention for these complications, with the only treatment option being premature delivery.


Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR) OneStart competition >>
Venture Further business start-up competition >>
Venture Out ideas competition >>

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