Locate Bio announces appointment of Dr Nick Staples as Chief Executive Officer

We are pleased to announce that Dr Nick Staples has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and that Dr Robin Quirk, the acting CEO, will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) at Locate Bio.

Dr Staples brings more than 20 years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and has a strong track record in leading strategic growth projects and international transactions, including fundraising (more than $250 million to date), mergers and acquisitions, licensing and new business ventures. Most recently, he was the Chief Business Officer of Artios Pharma Ltd, a leading DNA damage response oncology company, where he played a key role in establishing the company through seed and Series A fundraises in 2016, including building out its innovative development pipeline, prior to a highly successful recent $84 million Series B fundraise. Dr Staples also served concurrently as the Chief Business Officer of TopiVert Pharma Ltd, a next generation topical anti-inflammatory company which is preparing to initiate its first Phase 2b/3 registration study for TOP1630 in dry eye disease.

Prior to these roles, Dr Staples completed several transactions as an independent advisor and held senior positions at several leading UK public companies – Vectura, SSL International and Protherics. Having gained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, he started his professional career as a management consultant in the Lifesciences team at PA Consulting before becoming established as a highly regarded biotech analyst with WestLB Panmure in London.

Dr Ian Wilding, Chairman of Locate said: “I am delighted to welcome Nick as the new CEO of Locate Bio, as the company expands its ambitions in the regenerative medicine field. With his extensive experience in corporate and business development in both public and private companies, Nick will be able to deliver the strategic vision and leadership to propel Locate to the forefront of this exciting field. I would also like to thank Dr Robin Quirk for performing the role of acting CEO so capably prior to Nick’s appointment and welcome his continued service as the COO. I look forward to working with Nick, Rob and the team at this very exciting stage of the Locate’s development.”

Dr Staples added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve as the CEO of Locate Bio, as a leading company in the regenerative medicine field and at a time when cell and gene therapies are starting to deliver real benefits to patients – I have no doubt that this is the future of medicine. Locate’s technologies are designed to overcome the limitations of current regenerative medicine approaches and working together with the board and management team, I am confident that we can expand our existing pipeline, secure partnering deals and build significant value in the company.”

Locate Therapeutics announces name change to Locate Bio and new investment from Mercia Technologies PLC

Today we have announced our change of name from Locate Therapeutics Limited to  Locate Bio Limited and received a new direct investment of £0.5 million from Mercia Technologies PLC (AIM: MERC) (“Mercia”).

The Company’s change of name reflects its broader product-based strategy in regenerative medicine, as it targets even larger market opportunities for its proprietary technologies. As one of the leaders in its field, Locate has developed a novel regenerative medicine platform comprised of TAOS®, a tissue repair matrix and IntraStem, a next generation transfection technology with potential applications in gene and cell therapy. These technologies address key unmet needs in the regenerative medicine field, which currently represents a $20bn global market that is forecast to grow with a CAGR of 26%. Utilising its TAOS technology, the Company’s existing product development pipeline comprises a late-stage development program targeting osteomyelitis (bone infections) which is partnered with a major European orthopaedics company, along with several unpartnered novel regenerative medicine programs. Locate is now seeking to expand its pipeline, including with IntraStem-based product opportunities, as well as making its technologies available to third parties for non-therapeutic applications.

Locate also announces today that Mercia Technologies PLC, the national investment group focused on the identification, creation, funding and scaling of innovative technology businesses with high-growth potential from the UK regions, has made a new direct investment into the company. Following this further investment, Mercia now holds a 6.0% equity stake in the company. The investment monies will enable Locate to conduct key preclinical proof of concept studies to underpin new product opportunities.

Julian Viggars, Chief Investment Officer of Mercia Technologies PLC, said: “Locate demonstrates how Mercia can support the coupling of compelling, proprietary, university-derived technology with a strong team and clear market advantages developed within the Midlands, initially through our managed funds. The team at Locate has now successfully moved from the research and development phase to commercialisation. We have been impressed by this transition and foresee considerable potential for delivering shareholder value in the medium term.”

Dr Ian Wilding, Chairman of Locate, said: “Locate is entering an exciting new phase of growth as it targets even larger opportunities in the regenerative medicine field. Our name change and the investment from Mercia is a strong endorsement of this broader opportunity for Locate and the additional funds will enable us to conduct key preclinical studies to help consolidate our position as a next generation cell and gene therapy company.”

Contact:

Robin Quirk, Director – tel +44 (0)115 784 0041 email:rquirk@locatebio.com

Media Contact:

Richard Hayhurst – tel +44 (0)7711 821527 email:richard@richardhayhurstassociates.com

 

About Mercia Technologies PLC

Mercia is a national investment group focused on the funding and scaling of innovative technology businesses with high growth potential from the UK regions. Mercia benefits from 19 university partnerships and offices across the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland providing it with access to high quality, regional deal flow. Mercia Technologies PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC”.

Mercia’s ‘Complete Capital Solution’ initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds (now with circa £400million under management) and then over time Mercia can provide further funding to its ‘Emerging Stars’ by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet. Since its IPO in December 2014, Mercia has invested over £63million directly across its portfolio of ‘Emerging Stars’.

 

Locate closes £2 million investment round to fast track development of innovative cell therapy programs

Leading UK regenerative medicine company, Locate Bio (formerly named Locate Therapeutics), has closed a £2 million finance package comprising Midlands Engine Investment (MEIF) and Mercia EIS funds. Underwritten by Mercia Fund Managers, this cash injection will help the firm to fast-track its innovative TAOS™ matrix system and products for spinal fusion and bone regeneration.

Headquartered within MediCity in Nottingham, Locate, a spinout from the University of Nottingham, is leading the way in the development of targeted drug and stem cell delivery systems. This approach enables surgeons to administer stem cells and regenerative drugs to exact locations within the body to maximise efficacy and eliminate safety issues.

The TAOS injectable scaffold matrix system from Locate is a unique regenerative medicine platform that provides an optimal structure to support tissue repair, and can precisely accommodate and promote the actions of regenerative drugs, and emergent cell-based therapies. The injectable particulate formulation of TAOS is thermally-triggered to solidify into a space-filling open porous depot that supports tissue repair before degrading away.

Locate has additional complementary technologies in cell therapy, including Intrastem for intracellular delivery of proteins, nucleic acids and particles into cells.

Explaining the implications of this investment, Dr Ian Wilding, Chairman of Locate Therapeutics, said:

“We are extremely excited about the potential of our drug delivery technologies to be ‘game changers’ in the field of regenerative medicine, opening up new products to change the lives of patients with severe illnesses. Our company has successfully transitioned from the research to development phase in the last three years and we welcome the backing of Mercia Fund Managers as our investment partner in our journey to commercialisation.”

Commenting on the deal completion, Julian Dennard, Investment Director at Mercia, said:

“To be able to support innovative firms such as Locate Therapeutics is a key driver for Mercia Fund Managers. This is a great example of how finance available through the MEIF can be leveraged with private money to bring needed capital to a potentially high growth life sciences’ business. We look forward to working with Locate Therapeutics and its partners to drive the business forward, allowing patients to benefit from new treatments by building an exciting next generation drug delivery business.”

Locate seals £2M Investment

The investment, which is the first equity investment made by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), will help the firm lead a regenerative medicine “revolution”.

Nottingham-based Locate Bio Ltd (formerly Locate Therapeutics Ltd) is the first firm to receive equity finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

MEIF is providing £400k as part of a £2million investment that will help the firm to deliver an innovative targeted drug and stem cell delivery system to market.

The capital will also enable the company to add six more experts to its team and open the doors to international trade.

Pioneering specialist in regenerative medicine, Locate Bio has received the first equity investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund.

Read the full article on BQ Live

Locate Achieves ISO 13845 Certification

We are pleased to have successfully achieved EN ISO 13845:2016 certification for the design, development, and control of manufacturing of resorbable injectable tissue scaffolds for use in bone repair and regeneration.

Locate is developing a pipeline of combination therapies using its patented polymer-based matrix as a delivery system. The technology, known as TAOS (targeted orchestrated signalling matrix), is a unique regenerative medicine platform that provides optimal structure to support tissue repair. It can accommodate and promote the actions of locally-applied drugs and emergent biological and cell-based therapies. TAOS injectable particulate formulation is thermally-triggered to solidify into a space-filling open-porous depot that supports tissue repair before degrading away.

Locate is also working on the development of CellFuse, a personalised cell therapy aimed at spinal fusion patients with compromised cell populations. Combining TAOS with another proprietary technology IntraStem, the CellFuse project recently received a Biomedical Catalyst award.

Locate Deepens Development Collaboration With Heraeus Medical GmbH

Nottingham based, Locate Therapeutics (“Locate”) announced today the deepening of a development collaboration with the innovative orthopaedic company, Heraeus Medical GmbH. The new deal focuses on the use of Locate’s “state of the art” TAOS® (Targeted, Orchestrated Signaling) scaffold technology, in new areas of orthopaedic application.

The Agreement follows the successful conclusion of a two-year formulation development programme utilising TAOS® which has resulted in very exciting preclinical “proof of concept” data. In addition, independent KOL feedback generated by Heraeus Medical was highly enthusiastic about the clinical utility of the Locate TAOS® scaffold technology. The next phase of this partnered program will address formal product design and development milestones.

TAOS® is a new concept in medical materials and drug delivery that eliminates complicated and invasive surgical procedures. TAOS® is a delivery matrix for the precise administration and control of locally-acting therapeutics. Once TAOS® has been administered by a simple injection, the material additionally stimulates the body’s own repair process before degrading to leave behind newly-formed tissue. The process is intended to reduce rehabilitation time and postoperative complications, ultimately improving the patient’s experience. TAOS® and other Locate technologies are being used to enhance the use of stem cells and regenerative drugs in hard-to-heal and high cost areas of orthopaedics and beyond.

News of the deepening of the collaboration with Heraeus Medical comes as Locate completed a three-year TAOS® R&D program at the close of 2016. This project, which has been successful in creating lower dose osteoinductive drug-releasing scaffolds for hard-to-heal bone surgeries, was co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK with a £1.1M grant.

The support of Innovate UK has proven invaluable to the company, and not only in moving Locate’s own products closer to the clinic. Spill-over benefits have included exciting new patent filings, newly-identified clinical opportunities, and an intimate understanding of the TAOS® platform, of which the aforementioned partnered program has been an early beneficiary.

Dr Robin Quirk, Chief Executive of Locate, commented:

“We are delighted that our partnered program with Heraeus Medical has moved on to the next phase of development. It has been extremely encouraging that the concept and technical targets were not only met, but in fact exceeded expectations. This in turn has uncovered additional future uses for the TAOS scaffold including applications in the cell delivery arena.

The accomplishments of the program outline the vital importance of Innovate UK to companies such as ours. The advances not only enabled Locate to directly achieve the objectives of a strategically important product program, but helped stretch the boundaries of our technology to meet the needs of others in allied therapeutic areas”.

For further information please email info@locatebio.com or call +44 (0)115 784 0041.

Innovate UK Funding Award for Locate and The University of Nottingham

Locate Therapeutics Ltd (“Locate”), the regenerative medicine development company, and the School of Pharmacy at The University of Nottingham, have been awarded a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to jointly adapt the company’s TAOS™ technology (Targeted, Orchestrated Signaling Matrix) for use in administering therapeutic cells.

Emerging cell therapies have vast potential in the treatment of currently incurable diseases; the potential market for cell-based therapies being over 100 million patients in the US alone. Some of the main targets include heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, spinal cord injury, stroke, autoimmune diseases and trauma.

The partners believe that a current barrier to success is the inefficient clinical administration of these therapies to the patient. Under-developed methods for presenting the cells can result in the majority of the therapy dying or migrating away soon after injection.

The funding award aims to redress this issue by creating purpose-built delivery vehicles that provide protective environments and solidify upon injection, with the aim of improving the survival, localisation, and clinical effectiveness of cell therapies.

Dr Robin Quirk, Chief Executive of Locate, commented: “Our TAOS advanced delivery matrix is proving itself to be a highly versatile technology. With this funding, we aim to demonstrate its potential as a delivery substrate to improve the clinical administration of cell therapies across both hard and soft tissue applications. With the University of Nottingham as a development partner, we will be well supported in this endeavour. We’re excited by the potential of this product in a variety of clinical scenarios”.

Dr Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property and Commercialisation at The University of Nottingham, added: “It is very good news that Locate has been given this award from Innovate UK. Locate is developing new and innovative technologies with great commercial potential, and this funding will help them to further advance their work”.

For further information please email info@locatebio.com or call +44 (0)115 784 0041.

Locate Appoints Chairman to its Board of Directors

Locate Therapeutics Ltd (“Locate”), the regenerative medicine development company, today announced the appointment of Dr Ian Wilding as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Dr Wilding is an internationally respected key opinion leader in drug development and a serial entrepreneur. His background includes strong scientific, business, managerial and deal-making expertise. Dr Wilding has previously founded, managed and developed a number of successful bioscience start-up companies, including Pharmaceutical Profiles (recipient of a Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Technology Award) which, as Chief Executive, he grew to over 110 employees and a 10 Million GBP turnover. In a long career commercializing science, he was also the co-founder of R5 Pharmaceuticals, Modern Biosciences, Zysis and BioCity Nottingham. In addition to his Board roles, Dr Wilding currently consults for over 30 pharmaceutical and biotech companies on drug development and commercialization issues.

Dr Robin Quirk, Managing Director of Locate, commented: “Ian brings to Locate an extensive experience in transforming bioscience innovations into successful commercial therapeutics. He will be a valuable addition to our team and his significant insights will be invaluable to us as we continue the clinical development of products. We welcome Ian and look forward to drawing upon his proven strategic, operational and scientific judgments”.

Dr Wilding commented “I look forward to working with the team at Locate to drive the continued growth of the company. The company has great potential to deliver innovative therapies leveraged from a strong patent base and is at an exciting phase of its development”

For further information please email info@locatebio.com or call +44 (0)115 784 0041.

Heraeus Medical GmbH signs Exclusive License and Development Agreement with Locate Therapeutics for Orthopaedic Applications

Wehrheim, December 2014 – Heraeus Medical GmbH announced today an agreement with Locate Therapeutics to license the intellectual property surrounding the use of TAOS® in orthopaedic applications and the inception of the first development program in this field. The agreement gives Heraeus Medical GmbH the rights to the future co-developed orthopaedic products as well as the processes involved in manufacturing the final product. Locate Therapeutics has the full capabilities to carry out such development work. The agreement takes the form of a standard upfront and milestone payment structure.

Locate is a specialist regenerative medicine and device company which has been incubated by University of Nottingham. With grant funding and financial assistance from Wellcome Trust and the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) the company has developed TAOS™ a patented platform polymer technology with multiple medical applications. The TAOS (Targeted, Orchestrated Signaling) technology is a world first in tissue repair. It enables the precision focus of therapeutic signals and provides an optimal structure to support tissue repair. Uniquely, TAOS can accommodate and promote the actions of receptor-binding moieties, locally-applied drugs, and emergent biological & cell-based therapies

“Regenerative orthopaedics solutions is an important part of Heraeus Medical`s future portfolio strategy. Locate Therapeutics has the expertise, technical capabilities and intellectual property to allow us to make an accelerated step into this exciting field of medicine and to strengthen our current regenerative product pipeline”, said Dr André Kobelt, CEO of Heraeus Medical GmbH.

Commenting for Locate, Robin Quirk, Director said, “we are delighted to be able to commence our first partnered development program with Heraeus Medical, a company that really understands the needs and opportunities that exist in the regenerative medicine space, as well as having the direct market access to be able to bring these solutions effectively to the patient.”

Medilink Supports Pioneering Tissue Repair Technology

Locate Therapeutics Ltd, a Nottingham based specialist regenerative medicine company has been awarded a grant from the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet, a project delivered by Medilink East Midlands and part‐funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which will allow further development of their TAOS™ technology (Targeted, Orchestrated Signalling) – a world first in tissue repair.

Musculoskeletal diseases affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide and are a leading cause of chronic pain and disability. TAOS™ offers multiple medical applications in the field of advanced tissue repair, with potential benefits in treating spinal conditions such as curvature of the spine and the removal of slipped disks, alongside use in ‘hard to heal’ or nonunion fractures. TAOS™ allows a regenerative, malleable biomaterial to be injected into the site of tissue damage, removing the need for complicated and invasive surgery. Once the treatment has been administered the material stimulates the body’s own repair process before degrading to naturally leave behind newly formed tissue. The process is intended to reduce rehabilitation time and postoperative complications, ultimately improving the patient’s experience.

Locate Therapeutics required further laboratory research and specialist equipment to develop and finetune their biomaterials and surgical procedures, which has been supported by the grant.

Robin Quirk Co-founder of Locate Therapeutics commented:” It will significantly increase the speed at which our scientists can test the stability of the polymeric materials we use, as well as determine the viscosity and setting times of the biomaterials generated – both essential pieces of information for a surgical team administering treatment to a patient.

We have three key projects starting over the next few months, and this will greatly help speed along the development process to clinical trials.”

Dr Neil Barnes, Innovation Adviser, Medilink East Midlands commented:

“Developing new technologies, processes and products is a key aim of the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet initiative, and this is a prime example of how engaging with Medilink can help businesses achieve their aims.

The potential for further development in the field of biomaterials is huge, with associated cost savings for the NHS and benefits to patients who will have a faster recovery time and a much more simple and localized treatment.”

The versatility of the TAOS™ technology means it can also be applied in orthopaedic medicine for precision delivery of antibiotics and drug delivery where controlled sustained release is required. TAOS™ technology is also applicable in numerous clinical disciplines including cardiology, neurology, orthopaedics, dentistry and reconstructive or cosmetic surgery.