Leading life science companies from Midlands a BIO highlight

Proud of its very well-connected life science ecosystem, the Midlands offers the largest concentration of MedTech companies outside London

By Lexa Bell

Described as “the heartbeat of the nation’s economy”, the Midlands region can attribute this compliment as much to its strength, growth and importance in life science as to its central location in the UK. Home to more than 10 million people and 800,000 large and small businesses, the Midlands is proud of its well-connected life science ecosystem which offers the largest concentration of MedTech companies outside London. With an economy worth more than £200 billion a year, the area has become a focus for UK life science clinical research, medical technology and business growth. Partnered by the Department for International Trade (DIT), Midlands businesses from the UK are gearing up to showcase their innovation at BIO Philadelphia (June 3-7). The BIO convention will highlight the Midlands’ distinction in clinical trials, research and development, as well as its wealth of experience across a wide range of diseases, conditions and clinical settings. Simon Hall, the DIT’s senior representative, says: “The Midlands is bringing a delegation of outstanding companies to BIO who are keen to collaborate and work with international companies, universities and research organizations.


“To facilitate industry needs and satisfy regulatory requirements, the Midlands region has evolved a wide range of industry medical support organizations, both public sector NHS and academic, as well as commercial. “Those research and innovation assets, alongside 27 universities and 54 further education colleges, ensure their collective excellence is combined to unite the power of university research with the strength of industry. “The Midlands offers an unparalleled blend of businesses, universities and research translation centres, coupled with strong collaboration, research and clustering activities.


“Nottingham is home to BioCity, which is one of the largest incubators in Europe, housing more than 200 companies specializing in contract research services, therapeutics, environmental and wellness. “In Birmingham, the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) brings experts together to turn medical science into innovative patient and healthcare system applications. It provides a platform for interaction between scientists, academic clinicians, clinical informatics, biostatisticians and trial design experts in biomarker development and validation. “The Midlands delegation at BIO – stand 3227 on the UK pavilion – will illustrate cutting-edge innovation and skills development. “I commend these excellent Midlands companies and hope attendees to BIO Philadelphia will enjoy talking to our delegation and finding out about the impressive and innovative contributions they are already making to the field of biotech.”

Cobra Biologics

 Cobra is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) supporting the global cell and gene therapy industry to develop and manufacture DNA and viral vectors. Their multifunctional and experienced project teams nurture customers’ products from pre-clinical through to clinical and commercial manufacture. For cell and gene therapy products they are able to produce DNA (HQ and GMP) and viral vectors (adenovirus, AAV and lentiviral vectors). Cobra has also embarked on a $19 million operations expansion to fast-track their customers’ portfolios through to in-market supply.

XenoGesis Ltd

 XenoGesis is an independent laboratory-based contract research organization (CRO) specializing in pre-clinical drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK), quantitative bioanalysis, pharmacology and dose prediction. Working with a range of clients from small and medium pharma, biotechs, virtual companies and academic institutions through to venture capitalists, it helps identify potential winners and losers in compounds being synthesized during drug discovery campaigns. XenoGesis excels at providing a consultative-based service with nextstep recommendations, offers fully integrated drug discovery services and is looking to increase exports to the USA and globally.


InoCardia is developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology to assess and predict drug-induced cardiac contractility, a key element of cardiovascular toxicity. The product utilizes big data collated into a searchable online database. This AI will allow users to assess risk early in the R&D process. Drug-induced cardiac contractility change (a change in the power by which the heart pumps blood) can lead to increased incidence of heart failure and subsequent black-box warnings. InoCardia seeks investors interested in maximizing the potential of their AI technology and to introduce the tool to pharma and biotech users.


Upperton Pharma Solutions

Specializing in CDMO providing spray drying and formulation services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, Upperton Pharma Solutions offers clients a complete development package from early feasibility to process optimization, scale up and clinical trial (GMP) manufacturing. They work with a wide range of dosage forms and are expert at working with even the most exigent molecules. Priding themselves on their client-focused, flexible approach and scientific excellence, Upperton are looking forward to showcasing their technology to a worldwide audience at BIO.

Volmo Ltd

Volmo is driving personalization of medical implants using 3D scan data sets, finite element simulation and 3D printing. Using proprietary software to convert patient CT/MRI scan data into computer models, Volmo uses these to capture patient-specific anatomical structure of arteries, bones and joints. New implants, stents and preoperative models are then used for surgical planning, before designs are tested virtually through computer simulation and finally 3D printed.


The Wool Packaging Company Ltd, aka WoolCool, is the multi-award winning manufacturer of sustainable insulating packaging. Insulated packaging is required for the shipment of temperature sensitive goods. Challenging industry thinking, WoolCool identified wool as a sustainably sourced, highly efficient thermal material. When tested, wool insulation proved to be more effective than man-made alternatives, meeting and exceeding global standards required for subsequent FDA and MHRA packaging approval. WoolCool’s patented technology is now being rapidly adopted by the pharmaceutical industry and is fast becoming a leading example in sustainability and supply chain cost reductions.


Lucideon is a development and commercialization (DCO) specializing in materials technologies and processes. Its application of cross-industry insight, materials science expertise and innovative thinking allows industry to develop and implement disruptive technology platforms, providing cost and/or product performance benefits and enabling real market differentiation. It utilizes its wealth of experience in development, analysis and assurance to deliver significant competitive advantage to its customers. Lucideon has world-leading testing and characterization laboratories, a combination of pilot and feasibility plant and equipment, and a management and certification division.


Oncimmune is a leader in the development, manufacture and commercialization of cancer-specific immunodiagnostics for the screening, detection and care of cancer. The company also develops precision medicine and patient stratification tools for leading pharmaceutical multinationals in both immuno-oncology and autoimmune disease. The company is working to change how cancer is diagnosed and treated. Its patented technology detects evidence of the body’s natural response to cancer, enabling detection four years or more before standard clinical diagnosis. Oncimmune’s tests facilitate clinical decision-making and are complementary to diagnostic technologies, making them valuable additions to established and new care pathways. Partnering with leading developers and distributors, Oncimmune makes its technology available globally.


Medherant is a clinical-stage company developing innovative products for CNS diseases and pain management using unique TEPI™ technology to deliver approved drugs more effectively via drug-in-adhesive patches. They are developing their own products, which will be licensed for commercialization, and working with other companies to formulate their products as TEPI patches, for which they will provide a technology licence. They have completed two Phase 1 studies with their ibuprofen product, which is available to licence. Three further products are at formulation optimization stage, including a cannabinoid to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and two patches for Alzheimer’s disease.


Cellomatics Biosciences Ltd is a laboratory-based contract research organisation (CRO) specialized in oncology, immuno-oncology, immunology, inflammation and respiratory therapeutic areas. They provide bespoke preclinical and early discover phase laboratory services to support biotech, pharmaceutical companies and academic groups in their drug discovery projects. With key strengths of therapeutic expertise, cost and time effectiveness and flexibility, Cellmates aim to expedite clients’ drug development programmes by providing high quality ethical services.


The delegation will be in Philadelphia from Saturday June 1 to Sunday June 9. For further information, contact Louise Stock, Healthcare and Bioscience Sector Specialist DIT East Midlands, on +44 (0)7769 301805 and ditmidlands@mobile.trade.gov.uk

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