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Modern Biosciences Plc Wins Biomedical Catalyst Award

Modern Biosciences plc (“Modern Biosciences”) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant of up to £1.6 million by the UK government-backed Biomedical Catalyst.  The award will provide support for Modern Biosciences’ lead anti-inflammatory programme, OsteoRx.

The Biomedical Catalyst, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2011, is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector.

The aim of the OsteoRx programme is to develop a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a serious and painful condition that affects 1% of the population. The OsteoRx compounds offer a potential alternative to current treatments for RA, being orally administered and working via a novel mechanism of action that involves inhibition of molecular pathways implicated in both inflammation and bone degradation.

Today’s award will help fund the development of a candidate molecule in the OsteoRx programme to the point at which an Initial New Drug (IND) application can be filed, enabling the commencement of clinical studies.

Modern Biosciences is an early-stage drug discovery company that is a member of the IP Group portfolio.

Dr Sam Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Modern Biosciences, said: “We are delighted to be offered an award under the BioMedical Catalyst initiative and we are grateful to the Technology Strategy Board for its support. The award enables us to take the OsteoRx programme to a much more advanced stage than might otherwise be possible, thereby increasing the chances of this new treatment reaching patients and achieving eventual commercial success.”

For further information, please contact:

Dr Sam Williams, CEO 0845 074 2929

Notes to Editors

About rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and disabling auto-immune disease affecting 165 million people worldwide, or one per cent of the global population. It is an incredibly painful condition, can cause severe disability and ultimately affects a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. The disease can progress very rapidly, causing swelling and damaging cartilage and bone around the joints. Any joint may be affected, but the hands, feet and wrists are most commonly involved. RA is a systemic disease which means that it can affect the whole body and internal organs such as the lungs, heart and eyes.

About OsteoRx

The OsteoRx programme was licensed by Modern Biosciences from the Universities of Aberdeen (“Aberdeen”) and Edinburgh (“Edinburgh”) in 2007. The programme comprises a series of orally available small molecules which are very effective in preventing arthritis in disease models. The compounds act via a novel and unique target within the cell to prevent the inflammation and bone damage associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Under the terms of Modern Biosciences agreement with the two universities, Modern Biosciences will fund and manage the development programme and share commercialisation revenues with the universities.

About Modern Biosciences

Modern Biosciences is a drug development company which sources late-stage discovery projects from academia and start-up companies, conducts early proof-of-principle clinical studies and out-licenses the resulting programmes to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. For more information, please visit

About IP Group

IP Group plc (“the Group”) is a leading UK intellectual property (“IP”) commercialisation company, developing technology innovations primarily from its research-intensive partner universities. The Group offers more than traditional venture capital, providing its companies with access to business-building expertise, networks, recruitment and business support.

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency.  Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.  Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit

About the Biomedical Catalyst

The Biomedical Catalyst, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2011, is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Delivered jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board, the Biomedical Catalyst provides responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK. The programme is open to UK academics and SMEs and seeks to support those opportunities which demonstrate the highest scientific and commercial potential, irrespective of medical area. For further information please visit: