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The Department of Chemistry has been fundamental to many of the drug discovery spin-outs from The University of Oxford.

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Oxford Nanopore
The Department of Chemistry at Oxford has contributed over £80 million to the University as a result of its spin-out activities. Actual realised gains from the departmental spin-outs come to more than £40 million, with about £20 million of unrealised gains in quoted companies, and a further batch of holdings in private companies.

The IP Group Plc partnership was described by the Financial Times as “the way universities should be ļ¬nanced in the future.” In return for an upfront sum the bank receives half of the University equity in Chemistry spin-outs for 15 years.
Already in the short history of the deal eleven new companies have been created. Several of them have had second round funding, and Vastox and Oxford Catalysts had successful IPOs on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a combined market capitalisation of over £100 million.

Further details:
Below are some examples of how Oxford Chemistry has underpinned the formation of a wide range of companies in drug discovery.

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Medisense now part of Abbott
Formed: 1984
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Allen Hill

MediSense was formed in Abingdon in 1984 and a glucose monitoring device was launched towards the end of the decade. MediSense was sold to Abbott Laboratories in the mid-nineties for around $800m. Whereas in the early eighties, there were essentially no electrochemical glucose sensors, now almost all of the devices are electrochemical.
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Oxford Asymmetry International Plc now part of Evotec
Formed: 1991
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Steve Davies

Oxford Asymmetry International Plc manufactures chemical products and provides services in the pharmaceutical, biotechnological and agrochemical industries to develop new drugs from the discovery stage to commercial production. Oxford Asymmetry International and Evotec Biosystems merged in December 2000 to become Evotec OAI.
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Formed: 2001
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Graham Richards

Inhibox is a drug discovery company that uses computational methods to discover new leads for drugs. The company’s technology is based on the leveraging of computing power from individual PCs around the world.
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Formed: 2002
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Gordon Lowe

Pharminox is engaged in the discovery, research and development of novel small molecule drugs to treat common forms of cancer, with a specific research focus on molecularly targeted DNA damage and inhibition of DNA damage repair mechanisms.
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Glycoform Ltd
Formed: 2002
Oxford Chemistry researchers: Professor Ben Davis and Dr Anthony Fairbanks

Glycoform’s core expertise and intelletual property is in sugar chemistry and protein glycosylation. The company is using its technology to produce novel molecules and to salvage molecules with poor pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
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Formed: 2002
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Chris Dobson

Zyentia Ltd focuses on understanding the molecular determinants underlying protein misfolding, aggregation and deposition in the tissue and applying them to the development of innovative therapies for disorders such as Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson disease.
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Formed: 2003
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Chris Schofield

ReOx is a drug discovery company that is building on the primary research of the founding academics to develop novel treatments for disease by controlling the activity of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF).
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Summit plc (formerly VASTox)
Formed: 2003
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Steve Davies

Summit is a drug discovery company with an innovative technology platform called Seglins for the discovery of new medicines, a portfolio of partner funded drug programmes and a commercial strategy of signing multiple early-stage deals.
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Oxford Nanopore (formerly Oxford Nanolabs)
Formed: 2005
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Hagan Bayley

Molecular sensing technology using nanopores, for applications including DNA sequencing. £0.5m raised from seed investors in 2005. Raised £17.4m in February 2010, bringing the total investment to £49m.
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Oxford Advanced Surfaces
Formed: 2006
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Dr Mark Moloney

Coating technology to modify the surface properties of polymers, glass and even diamond and reactive cross-linking chemistry. Spun out in 2006 and listed on AIM in 2007 via a reverse takeover with a market capitalisation of £60m.
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Formed: 2006
Oxford Chemistry researcher: Professor Richard Compton

Oxtox is a platform technology company devoted to the sensing of drugs. As of June 2007 eight of its portfolio companies have listed on the Alternative Investment Market, one on PLUS Markets and there have been two trade sales.