Cancer research spin-out sale nets £3.6 million for University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham has sold its shares in a cancer research spin-out company in a commercial deal worth £3.6 million.

CrownBio Inc, which is using advanced pre-clinical cancer models developed at the University’s Medical School to dramatically increase the chances of success of vital cancer drug development, has been acquired by the Japanese firm JSR Corporation.

The move will allow these models to have an even greater global impact and will lead to further drug development programmes.

Professor John Atherton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, said: “We are proud to be making such a huge difference to the lives of patients, not just in Nottingham but globally. The commercial success of CrownBio Inc is further demonstration of the excellence arising from the University’s Medical School and another way for us to help patients.”

The University’s spin-out portfolio includes more than 20 companies ranging from early stage to quoted businesses and is managed by Nottingham Technology Ventures Ltd.

Andrew Naylor, Chief Executive of Nottingham Technology Ventures Ltd, said: “The sale of shares in CrownBio is the third exit from the Medical School’s spin-out portfolio this year and is in-line with the University’s policy to realise value from its equity in listed companies.”

In February this year, the University sold a portion of its shares in Oncimmune plc, a company specialising in early diagnosis of lung and liver cancers. Oncimmne’s EarlyCDT-Lung test has now completed more than 150,000 commercial tests from its US base in Kansas and the test is now formally part of the Medicaid programme helping millions of patients across the US.

Nottingham Medical School also sold its stake in Nurture Fertility Limited, which is consistently rated one of the top three fertility clinics in the UK. The company has helped thousands of couples across the UK take their first steps towards becoming a family and made bringing a child into the world a reality for many who otherwise would not be able to do so.

All three of these spin-outs have retained and expanded their bases in Nottingham, supporting the growth and prosperity of the region.

Professor Tony Avery, Dean and Head of the School of Medicine added: “This has been a fantastic year for the University’s School of Medicine and for our staff who work so hard to make a difference. We know that this will be the catalyst for further commercial activity from the School and we are looking forward to increasing our impact in the coming years.”