Bioscience team Platelet Solutions wins backing


Printed September 9, 2010.

Nottingham team wins science competition at University

SCIENTISTS at the University of Nottingham have secured £20,000 for their latest invention.

Platelet Solutions, based at the Queen’s Medical Centre, was one of five teams of researchers from the UK and India who competed in the final of BioPharm 2020 – a new contest held at the university.

The team claims to have developed a method of improving life-saving treatment for heart attacks and strokes.

Its pitch impressed a panel of business experts, winning £20,000 and business start-up resources.

Professor Stan Heptinstall, head of Platelet Solutions, said: “Winning the contest will give us the opportunity to convert our research findings into a way of improving health care for patients at risk of cardiovascular diseases.

“What we proposed is a kit for doctors to test the effectiveness of prescribed drugs, such as aspirin, which reduce the actions of platelets in the blood that can cause clotting and thromboses.

“Patients who use these drugs can often still be at risk, and our product would see to what extent platelets have been reduced in order to optimise treatment.”

Platelet Solutions won the best UK entrant award. The best Indian entrant was won by Chalk2Salt.

Organiser Dr Jennifer Townsend said: “The teams put together a range of great business plans and presentations. We had a very strong panel of judges and a lot of high-profile support and interest.”

The panel was chaired by Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots, and included Lucy Marcus, chairwoman of the board audit committee of BioCity Nottingham, and Nottingham businessman Professor Nat Puri.

The teams’ pitches consisted of a business plan, a 20-minute presentation, and a poster display viewed by 500 delegates.

The competition was led by the university in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

It was set up to foster links between biotechnology researchers and entrepreneurs in the UK and India. It is estimated that India’s biotechnology industry is growing by more than 50 per cent year-on-year.

The event was part of UK-PharmSci 2010, held at the East Midlands Conference Centre, which also showcased new research and technologies.