SpheriTech takes another stride forward

SpheriTech, a contract synthesis and purification firm based at The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn, has been awarded a £100k grant by the Northwest Regional Development Agency to research its recently patented novel technology for the manufacture of polymeric microspheres.

This fledging company is barely a year old and already gaining an enviable reputation in research and development for a range of sectors including peptide synthesis, DNA synthesis, polymer synthesis, biopharmaceutical purification and cell culture.

Since its launch in June 2009, SpheriTech has enjoyed a steady growth in business. In November, the firm secured a six-figure backing from an angel investor which enabled founder and CEO Don Wellings to expand its operations, hire specialist staff and apply for regional development funding.

Now it has won the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) grant, SpheriTech can push forward with its expansion plans.

Don said: “These are exciting times for SpheriTech. I am delighted the NWDA has awarded us this research and development grant. The funds will enable us to relocate to a larger laboratory at The Heath and continue our research programme.”

SpheriTech was launched as a one-man operation but after funding from the external investor four months ago, Don was able to employ two specialist staff – one joined at the end of 2009, the second is due to start in May.

The company currently holds a portfolio of intellectual property covering a diverse range of technologies including peptide synthesis, DNA synthesis, biocatalysis and cell culture. As part of its work, the company offers consultancy plus laboratory-based contract research and development.  As a service base the company also provides custom synthesis of peptides and contract purification of any molecule, large or small.

SpheriTech has made enormous strides in the development and commercialisation of its new novel platform technology for spherical particle design. The company is researching novel inexpensive processes for manufacture of polymeric microspheres that are used in a range of applications in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Don said: “We have a busy schedule ahead of us. We hope to launch several new products for commercial use before our two year project timeframe is complete.

“The grant should see us through an in depth 2 year research and development program and we may be in a position to launch the first of a range of new products later this year.”

Don has more than 30 years experience working in scientific roles for high-profile, blue-chip companies including ICI, Zeneca and Avecia. Don is internationally recognised as an authority on peptide synthesis, polymer particle design and chromatography.

He is a regular speaker at international conferences and presented recently at The Peptide Conference 2010 in Cambridge on March 30-31 which was attended by senior R&D scientists, managers and decision makers from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies looking to develop and economically manufacture new peptide products.

Don is the author of numerous texts including ‘A Practical Handbook of Preparative HPLC’ and has an enviable track record in innovation – he is the main inventor on 13 patents and the sole inventor on all IP in the SpheriTech portfolio.

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