iiCON welcomes The Nanotherapeutics Hub

News article 18 May 2021
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The LSTM-led consortium iiCON, which supports the discovery and development of innovative new products and treatments for infectious diseases, has welcomed a new platform, The Nanotherapeutics Hub, to support companies with cutting-edge technologies to deliver their therapeutics.

The agreement will see The Nanotherapeutics Hub, which is based at the University of Liverpool and part of Liverpool’s Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT), work with iiCON to support companies looking to develop cutting-edge nanotherapeutics to combat infectious diseases and access the nanomedicine market, expected to be worth $169 billion USD by 2026.

Led by LSTM and backed by UKRI’s Strength in Places Fund (SIPF), iiCON is revitalising the UK’s infectious diseases product pipeline. The consortium supports industry in bringing new game-changing therapeutics and products to market in response to the growing global threat of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

iiCON works closely with large firms and SMEs nationally and internationally, providing access to world-leading research capability, state-of-the-art equipment, and highly skilled personnel, all based within the North West of England.

In its role as an iiCON platform, The Nanotherapeutics Hub will support companies by providing advanced analytical capabilities and expertise in biocompatibility, biodistribution and pharmacokinetics, physical and chemical characterisation, and the development of better models to improve therapeutic delivery to the biological target site whilst ensuring patient safety. It will also provide links to other UK partner organisations such as the National Measurement Laboratory at LGC, Medicines Discovery Catapult and the Centre for Process Innovation.

Professor Janet Hemingway, who leads the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON), said: “We’re delighted to welcome The Nanotherapeutics Hub as an iiCON platform. It is a centre of excellence for nanotherapeutics in the UK and is doing important work to support the development of nanomedicine by driving forward innovation and R&D and connecting global expertise and capability.

“Nanomedicine is an extremely exciting field that is improving the performance and efficacy of existing drugs and treatments. It is also enabling the development of innovative therapeutic pathways and is a key weapon in our battle to tackle infectious diseases and combat antibiotic resistance.

“As a member of iiCON, The Nanotherapeutics Hub will play a valued role in supporting companies working at the cutting-edge of drug discovery; providing them with world-class expertise and analytical capability that will expedite their product development pathways and help to bring new, impactful treatments to market that will reduce the global burden of infectious disease.”

Dr Neill Liptrott, coordinator of the Nanotherapeutics Hub, said: “We are very pleased to join iiCON and bring with us our expertise in the field of nanotherapeutics which, to date, encompasses applications in infectious disease, cancer, immune modulation and regenerative medicine. The benefits, and promise, of nanotechnology are clear however, robust characterisation of their interactions with biological systems is vital to their translation to clinical use.

“Using our expertise, we are determining critical quality attributes for nanotherapeutics to assist in future rational design of advanced materials. This is supported by our partnership with the National Measurement Laboratory and our links into national, and international, activities. We look forward to being part of iiCON and supporting the partners in their efforts to combat existing, and emerging, infectious diseases.”

Core iiCON partners in this infectious diseases R&D initiative are LSTM, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Unilever UK, the University of Liverpool, Infex Therapeutics, Evotec and the AMR Centre at Alderley Park who interact with a broader network of organisations to produce a vibrant infection R & D ecosystem in the North West.