University spin out company appoints Executive Chairman

L-R Emma Nolan, Dr Marco Giardiello, Dr Lee Tatham, Antony Odell, Professor Steve Rannard and Professor Andrew Owen

A University of Liverpool spin out company, Tandem Nano Limited (Tandem), has appointed an Executive Chairman to accelerate the commercialisation of its proprietary technology to reformulate poorly soluble pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

The University technology, which has been licensed into Tandem, has significant implications for optimisation of product manufacture across a broad range of market sectors from new therapy generation to novel agrochemical formulations and beyond.

Tandem’s unique offering is the result of collaboration between the research groups of Professor Andrew Owen, Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology and Professor Steve Rannard, Department of Chemistry. Both Andrew and Steve are directors of the company, and have been instrumental in driving the technology forward. In recent years, the portfolio of technologies within the University has grown significantly, offering the company a range of options for new product manufacture.

Beneficial results 

Tandem’s technology provides partners with tailored nanoparticles of insoluble materials, thereby allowing beneficial results to be achieved faster and more cheaply than traditional approaches. This can help to minimise the risk of product failure during development or offer cost reductions, but patent protectable opportunities are produced often with considerably increased performance.

Antony Odell, who has been appointed as Executive Chairman, has a significant track record in building successful life science businesses from early to late stage. Most recently Antony was CEO at Tissue Regenix Group plc which he led from laboratory proof of concept work to an Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listed business with significant overseas operations.

The company has received significant start-up investment from the University’s Enterprise Investment Fund, enabling early commercial activities. The current portfolio of patents will be exclusively licensed into the company.

Professor Anthony Hollander, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact, said: “We are delighted to have founded Tandem Nano Limited – the Tandem technology is remarkably mature, having been incubated within the University and driven forward with the commitment of the academic team, over the course of a number of years.

“We are especially pleased to have secured Antony Odell, an experienced CEO with an impressive track record, through the efforts of our Intellectual Property (IP) Commercialisation Team. Tandem has the potential to produce products which are potentially life-changing within the pharmaceutical markets and ground-breaking in non-medical sectors, and we wish Tandem well on its journey.”

Significant impact

Antony Odell, Executive Chairman, said: “I’m delighted that Tandem has made this important first step in the commercialisation of its proprietary SDN technology which already has a significant track record of success in solving the problems of poorly soluble actives. The team at the University has developed several key commercial relationships that can now be developed further within the new company in a variety of sectors some of which have significant impact for Tandem’s strong corporate social responsibility ethic”.

Professor Steve Rannard, Academic Founder, said: “The nanomaterials programme has worked together with the pharmacology team for many years, and now is an ideal moment to build the future impact from this longstanding collaboration. TNL is an ideal vehicle to focus our company interactions and allow options to progress to real-world benefits”

Resounding endorsement

Professor Andrew Owen, Academic Founder, said: “The spin-out of Tandem Nano Ltd is a resounding endorsement of the University’s cross-faculty activity that has seen new medicines transition from concept through preclinical selection, regulatory approval and first-in-human evaluation. The team will continue to drive development and understanding of new modalities to bring novel therapeutic options to patients that need them across the globe.”

The University’s IP Commercialisation Team works with academics to bring University technologies to market. The team can provide practical advice and support for filing patent applications to protect University inventions (or advising on other means of protection), negotiating commercial licences working with industry partners, and setting up spin-out companies.

More information can be found here.

The University’s Nanomedicine research has also been recognised by The (US) President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and a fundraising campaign to help improve drug therapies for children with HIV has reached its target in record time. More details here.