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S          pinning out Success









              The Department of Chemistry has an excellent track record in commercialising the state-
              of-the-art work undertaken by our research staff. Oxford chemists have set up numerous
              commercial licences and spin-out companies to take promising technologies to market.
              Below are some highlights of the most recent success stories from Oxford Chemistry.
              More information can be found on our new industry-facing website, industry.chem.ox.ac.uk


                              Oxford Mass Technologies (OMass)   The core technology is based on a marriage of electrochemical
                              is one of Oxford Chemistry’s latest   impedance, fluidics and interfacial chemistry and generates a
                              spin-out companies and is a result of   validated ability to quantify panels of biomarkers in patient
                              research conducted within Prof Dame   samples in an ultrasensitive manner. It presents a potentially
                              Carol Robinson’s group. OMass is an   transformative ability to detect disease many years before it
                              enabling technology platform providing   becomes symptomatic.  www.oxfordimpedance.com
                              biotechnology and pharmaceutical
              companies with mass spectrometry solutions for studying   HydRegen, launched in Jan 2016, is
              membrane proteins, which constitute over 50% of all drug   funded by EPSRC/Innovate UK. Led
              targets.                                         by Prof Kylie Vincent, the main aim
                                                               of HydRegen is to develop improved
              Robinson explains her motivation for founding OMass:   methods for utilising cofactor-
              “Membrane proteins are extremely challenging targets to study   dependent enzymes. HydRegen provides a flexible platform of
              and characterise. We have focussed on developing enabling mass   H2-driven immobilised enzymes to facilitate implementation
              spectrometry methods to evaluate them. Early collaborations   of cofactor-dependent biocatalysis. This technology has a wide
              between my research group and pharmaceutical companies have   range of applications in the fine chemicals sector for synthesis
              demonstrated just how powerful this technology can be and has   of pharmaceutical, flavour and fragrance molecules and more
              prompted the formation of OMass.”                broadly in introduction of chiral centres and controlled
                                                               oxidations. vincent.chem.ox.ac.uk/hydregen.htm
              The team are committed to providing technology and know-
              how in assisting companies tackle challenging drug targets and        OxSyBio was set up in 2014 to
              biologics. The new company has now received support from              develop 3D printing techniques
              Oxford Science Innovation to establish a laboratory to be based       which can be used to produce
              at the Begbroke Science Park. www.omass.co.uk                         synthetic materials for medical
                                                                                    research and clinical applications.
                                 Oxford Impedance Diagnostics   The technology, based on cutting-edge research conducted
                                 was launched in April 2016 based   by Prof Hagan Bayley’s group, is a method of printing tissue-
                                 on research from Prof Jason Davis   like materials comprised of 3-D networks of lipid monolayer
                                 and Prof Paulo Bueno, based at the   aqueous droplets. These materials were shown to be capable of
                                 University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.    conducting electrical signals along pre-defined pathways, and

              Davis’s research team have been engaged with collaborating   self-folding to form complex geometries. OxSyBio is focussed
              clinical teams in establishing electroanalytical platforms capable   on using similar techniques to print tissues and tissue-like
              of the sensitive detection of antibodies in Parkinson’s disease   materials for a range of applications in regenerative medicine
              patient cerebrospinal fluid and plasma and in diabetes patient   and synthetic biology. www.oxsybio.com
              serum analysis                                                          Oxford Advanced Conductors
              Most recently, this work has been extended to the multiplexed           (OxACs), set up in 2014,
              analysis of real clinical samples within electrode arrays. His          is based on research by Prof
              group, with that of Bueno, have also developed unique                   Peter Edwards’ team which has
              molecular detection methodologies based on hydrogel   developed a novel silicon-doped zinc oxide material (SiZOTM)
              interfaces, signal processing, and both redox and quantum   to replace the indium oxide generally used in touch panel
              capacitance.                                     displays. This state-of-the-art technology delivers novel, low-
                                                               cost and high-performance optoelectronic thin film coatings
              The company has secured significant investment to develop a   for various display applications through both a zinc oxide-
              commercially viable, highly sensitive protein biomarker assay   based coating and an easier, more eco-friendly and sustainable
              system for use in clinical laboratories or at the point-of-care.   manufacturing process.  www.oxacs.com

          10
              Periodic       The Magazine of the Department of Chemistry
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