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IOTA NanoSolutions Limited, a specialist formulation company, is pleased to announce today that it has completed a financing round to support the commercialisation of its proprietary nanodispersion formation technology, ContraSolTM. New investor, QIB(UK) Plc joins Unilever Ventures Limited (UV) in this financing round.
Poor solubility of active ingredients can pose formulation constraints, impair the performance of product ingredients and restrict the wide use of commercial materials. ContraSolTM allows the transformation of poorly soluble organic active ingredients into dry solid formats (e.g. powders, tablets or granules) that rapidly form nanodispersions on contact with liquids. This can be achieved with hydrophobic actives in water or hydrophilic actives in hydrophobic liquids. The nanodispersions aid the delivery and lead to performance enhancement of poorly soluble active ingredients.
IOTA NanoSolutions is actively exploiting its technology and expertise in collaboration with multi-national companies including but not limited to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors.
On completing the transaction Andrew Elphick, CEO, IOTA NanoSolutions commented, "ContraSol™ is highly innovative and offers many possibilities within the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and related industries. It offers the potential for lifecycle management of existing products, progression of new chemical entities through R&D pipelines and to revive candidates that have been previously overlooked due to solubility issues. We thoroughly look forward to working with QIB and UV to further drive the company's growth and accelerate development within these key strategic sectors."
Akbar Ahsan, Head of Corporate Finance at QIB(UK), commented "We are delighted to join Unilever Ventures in supporting IOTA NanoSolutions in their development and commercialisation of ContraSol™. Our involvement is driven by our investment thesis of backing highly regarded management teams and partnering with leading names. IOTA's leading scientific team and Unilever Venture's pivotal role in the company's development and success makes this a unique opportunity for us.
In time we will work with IOTA to expand its research activities in Qatar through establishing a presence there and participating in the knowledge based economy which is being developed by Qatar Foundation and the QSTP."
John Coombs Managing Director, Unilever Ventures added "We are extremely pleased with the development of the ContraSol™ technology to date and are delighted to offer continued support with QIB(UK) to IOTA NanoSolutions. ContraSol™ has generated significant interest from multiple leading global players in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors and we remain confident the technology and company will continue to excel in these fields".
About IOTA NanoSolutions Limited
IOTA NanoSolutions Limited was registered as a spin-out company from Unilever in 2005 with funding from Unilever Ventures and a mission to develop and commercially exploit its novel proprietary nanodispersion technology, ContraSolTM. The company was co-founded by Prof. Steve Rannard, Dr. Alison Foster, Dr. Dave Duncalf and Prof. Andy Cooper.
Since 2005, IOTA NanoSolutions occupies a suite of purpose-built laboratories in the MerseyBIO incubator in Liverpool, UK, from where it serves its growing portfolio of international clients.
ContraSolTM enables the processing of poorly soluble compounds into nanoparticulate dispersions without the inherent difficulties associated with conventional techniques such as milling, emulsion-evaporation or precipitation.
The ContraSolTM process generates a dry, solid composite of poorly soluble active compound particles within a soluble matrix with loadings of up to 85% (w/w) of active component. When added to liquids, the soluble matrix releases the particles to form a nanoparticulate dispersion with a typical Z average particle diameter in the range of 100-300nm. Particles up to 900nm are possible and sizes may be tuned depending on a number of parameters. The resulting nanodispersions are often at concentrations unobtainable through traditional solubilisation techniques.
Application of ContraSolTM has successfully generated nanodispersions of >250 organic compounds with varying physical properties; (amorphous and crystalline, low and high melting point, solids and soft solids, temperature and water-sensitive materials).
Commercially available soluble matrix materials are specifically tailored for each application. Excipients present in FDA-approved products are used routinely. GMP processes are readily available.
ContraSolTM formulations have shown enhanced activity and efficacy in a range of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models when compared to equivalent solvent solutions and can be used in tablet, gel, powder and liquid formats for multiple administration/application routes. Active ingredients including Pharmaceuticals (OTC and Rx pharmaceuticals e.g. analgesics, lipid therapeutic agents, antihypertensives, hormones) and Agrochemicals (Fungicides, Herbicides and Insecticides) have been successfully formulated using ContraSolTM to form aqueous dispersions.
For further information on IOTA NanoSolutions or ContraSolTM please call +44 (0)151 795 4219 or visit www.iotanano.com
About QIB (UK)
QIB (UK) is the UK subsidiary of Qatar Islamic Bank, which headquartered in Doha, Qatar, is one of the largest independent Islamic banks in the world. QIB (UK) received its authorisation from the Financial Services Authority in January 2008. QIB (UK) offers investment banking products and solutions to a wide range of clients in the UK and plays a major role in attracting investment from Qatar and the Middle East into the UK and Europe. QIB (UK) also supports UK and European institutions looking to expand and invest in Qatar and the Middle Eastern markets.
For further information on Qatar Islamic Bank please call +44 (0)20 7268 7200 or visit www.qib-uk.com
About Unilever Ventures
Unilever Ventures (UV) is the European venture capital arm of Unilever. It invests in early stage companies which could become strategically relevant to Unilever and can benefit from access to Unilever’s assets and capabilities. UV focuses its investment in:
- Health and vitality
- Personal care
- Digital marketing
- Novel foods
- Technology that could be deployed to help Unilever’s sustainability mission
UV looks to find—or to create— ambitious, market-leading companies, led by world class management teams and only invests in businesses with the potential to generate a financial return commensurate with the risks of venture capital investing.
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