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Modern Biosciences wins £2.4 million award from UK Government’s Biomedical Catalyst

Modern Biosciences plc (“Modern Biosciences”) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant of up to £2.4 million by the UK Government-backed Biomedical Catalyst. The award will provide support for Modern Biosciences’ lead programme for the development of novel bone-protective compounds in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”).

RA is a severe, crippling inflammatory disease which causes progressive joint and bone erosion and eventual disability. MBS’ compounds act by an entirely novel mechanism of action to target both the inflammatory component of RA and its associated bone destruction. This has the potential to not only protect the joints of RA sufferers from further damage but to reverse existing damage.

The Biomedical Catalyst is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Today’s award to MBS will help fund the clinical development of a candidate molecule through Phase 1 clinical studies and provide evidence from patients for the drug’s efficacy and safety. This represents the second award of a Biomedical Catalyst grant to MBS in relation to the RA programme, the first of which was announced in 2012.

Dr Sam Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Modern Biosciences, said: “We are delighted to be offered a second award by the Biomedical Catalyst and we are grateful to the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, for its support. Our first Biomedical Catalyst award allowed us to take our rheumatoid arthritis programme to a point at which we can enter clinical studies, and this further award will now enable us to demonstrate the utility of the drugs in patients. Without this funding, our programme would never have progressed to this critical stage.”

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 MBS’ bone-protective compounds

MBS’ novel bone-protection programme was licensed in 2007 from OsteoRX Limited (“OsteoRX”), a spin-out company from the University of Aberdeen (“Aberdeen”). The programme comprises a series of orally available small molecules which are highly effective in preventing RA in disease models. The compounds act via a novel molecular mechanism which means they not only reduce inflammation and bone damage associated with RA, but have the potential to reverse bone damage via a directly protective effect that is unique amongst existing agents.

About Modern Biosciences

Modern Biosciences is a drug development company which sources late-stage discovery projects from academia, conducts early proof-of-principle clinical studies and out-licenses the resulting programmes to the pharmaceutical industry. Modern Biosciences’ major shareholder is IP Group plc, the developer of intellectual property based businesses. For more information, please visit

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK, the new name for 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), Innovate UK 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 Catalysts

Catalysts are run jointly by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and the Research Councils. A Catalyst is a form of research and development funding which focuses on a specific priority area and aims to help take projects from research to as close to commercial viability as possible. The Catalyst model supports projects in priority areas where the UK research base has a leading position and where there is clear commercial potential. Current Catalysts include: Biomedical Catalyst, Agri-tech Catalyst and the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst. For more details please visit: