Trimunocor: Developing recombinant surfactant protein D for prevention of inflammatory lung diseases
Trimunocor Limited is a spin-out company from the University of Southampton that has developed a novel way to easily produce large quantities of the functional part of surfactant protein D (rfhSP-D) for the treatment and prevention of inflammatory lung disease.
Start date: 2015
Website: Visit website
SETsquared programme: Innovation to Commercial Realisation (ICURe)
SETsquared support received: ICURe grant, events, market research, networking
Investment raised: Innovate UK Grant £500k; Private funding £310k
Started on ICURe programme
Filing of further patent for novel trimeric protein and innovative manufacturing process
Innovate UK funding.
Founded Trimunocor Ltd and employed three members of staff
Initiation of manufacture development
Application for Orphan Drug status
Trimunocor website live
Agreement in principle for an MRC £3m grant to University of Southampton
“After the Options Roundabout we were given an opportunity to apply for ICURe Aid for Start Ups funding from Innovate UK, so I spent the next three months compiling a business plan using the skills I had been equipped with from the ICURe programme. Our aim was to achieve this award to start our company to develop a scalable GMP-capable production system for our anti-inflammatory protein.
“The ICURe programme was instrumental in refining our research for commercialisation. It became apparent that we needed to re-think our initial target market, so our Pivot was to target the niche more-achievable market of premature neonatal chronic lung disease to show efficacy of our drug and allow us to later enter larger more complex markets such as that of asthma and COPD, which is much higher risk.
“The training and support provided on the ICURe programme stimulated my change to an entrepreneurial way of thinking, and I developed a whole range of business skills and gained a real insight into the pharmaceutical world. As a result of ICURe, I also have an extensive network of contacts throughout the scientific, pharmaceutical and entrepreneurial world that are helping to drive Trimunocor forwards.
“The funding received from Innovate UK has helped us develop the business further and set us on our course to develop a manufacturing process. This innovate grant has been instrumental in University of Southampton being awarded a £3 million grant in principle to undertake the first phase I clinical trial in premature babies using rfhSP-D. Demonstration in humans will build a huge amount of value into Trimunocor and is essential in partnering with large pharma to develop rfhSP-D into a product.”
“The future of Trimunocor is very exciting.We are planning to demonstrate the efficacy of anti-inflammatory rfhSP-D in clinical trials. This will enable us to partner with pharma and develop rfhSP-D into drug products to prevent inflammatory lung diseases.”
Dr Alastair Watson, Project Manager R&D