Bidding to be best at Biotech YES

Paul Duhaney

Biotechnology Yes event at Old Trafford.Ilaria Santeramo, Kelly Ward, Robert Hornby and Sumaya Dauleh are heading to London to compete in the national finals

The development of a novel dieting aid has seen a team from University of Liverpool’s Institute of Translational Medicine make it through to the finals of a national enterprise competition.

CEO, Kelly Ward; Research and Development Director, Robert Hornby; Marketing and Operations Director, Sumaya Dauleh and Finance Director, Ilaria Santeramo won through after presenting the idea behind their firm, Nutec Ltc to judges in the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biotech YES).

Enthusiastic

Kelly, a Physiology PhD student, said: “We are a very enthusiastic team, and I think we have pure passion and belief. Although the competition is only hypothetical, we believe our product could work and really wanted to get people enthusiastic about it.”

The team have come up with a dieting aid that reduces the uptake of dietary sugar into the blood following a meal, with the aim of combatting obesity.

”Sugar is a major cause of obesity and our product really addresses that point. In terms of commercialisation, the market for it is huge”
And Kelly believes the choice to enter the vast weight loss market was key to the team’s success in the regional heats. She said: “Sugar is a major cause of obesity and our product really addresses that point. In terms of commercialisation, the market for it is huge. The number of obese and overweight people in the world is enormous and the amount spent on weight loss products and dietary management is around £400billion. We really needed to have a good market to go into and address an area of need.”

Kelly and her team-mates will now go on to represent the North West at the national finals of the Biotech YES competition, held in London in December, alongside eleven other teams from across the country.

Hard work and dedication

Kelly added: “It would mean the world to us if we were to win. We’ve put in so much hard work, and a lot of dedication, especially having to do it all around our already demanding studies. It’s nice to see our efforts rewarded and, in terms of our career, to win a competition like that speaks for itself.”

Nutec Ltd was assisted by the Institute of Integrative Biology’s Jade Waller, who helped secure the advice of specialist expertise, such as Unilever patents chief, Peter Elliott and venture capitalist, Dr Penny Attridge, as well as the University’s Carol Roberts and Geoff Wainwright.

Organised by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI), the competition is a blend of the formats made popular by television shows, The Apprentice and Dragons Den.

Biotechnology Yes event at Old Trafford.

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