With a background in the development of anti-cancer therapeutics, Astrimmune is also actively involved in research and development aimed at isolation, characterisation and early diagnosis of circulating tumour cells associated with silent cancers such as pancreatic cancer.
As part of our ongoing R&D cycle, the inadequacy of available cell segregation technology became apparent. Putting together experience from within Astrimmune and from specialist manufacturers worldwide, we have developed and optimised Cellexia to address the problems we had encountered using commercially available devices. The result was so effective, we thought that we should not keep it to ourselves.
Our CEO is Fred Jacobs who has a background in financial management. However he has worked in the life sciences for so long, he is easily mistaken for a biologist. He co-founded Astrimmune in 2010 to progress Astrimmune’s interest in novel cancer treatment and diagnostic approaches.
Sue Hagan, a pharmacist by profession, with a background in laboratory and project management in the pharmaceutical industry, now runs operations as our COO. Along with Fred, Sue has been successful in raising substantial funding for the company.
Medical adviser Paul Broome has a background in ‘big pharma’, and for the last two decades, specifically in therapeutic vaccine development. He has contributed to clinical trial design and data analysis of data obtained from liquid biopsies using our technology.
In the US, Mike Reed represents us for sales of cell segregation technology. He is an expert in DNA chemistry having previously established and directed a laboratory developing various assays for biological, food and environmental tests. His expertise in DNA chemistry is enabling us to develop a flow based DNA card.
Our current Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board, Peter Laing is a winner of the UKTI (Innovate UK) Biotech Entrepreneur of the Year award. Peter has a strong track record of invention that has given rise to notable licensing deals with major pharma and biotech companies. It was his persistence in developing Cellexia that led to Astrimmune’s progression to a product-based company.
Also on the Science Advisory Board are Graham Dockray and Nick Morrill. Graham Dockray is Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of Liverpool, where he has previously held positions as Head of the Department of Physiology and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Graham has received several prestigious accolades throughout his career, including the 2005 Annual Review Lecture of the Physiological Society and the 2007 Sir Arthur Hurst Lecture at the British Society of Gastroenterology. He is a physiologist who is distinguished for his work on regulatory peptides in the gut and brain, especially members of the gastrin and cholecystokinin family. Nick Morrill is an affiliate researcher at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA, and co-founder of Precision Membranes. Nick is a physicist involved in material science research.
We are working with Sheffield, York, Leicester, Liverpool and Leeds on various related projects.
Paraytec (York, UK)
Partner in the development of the FFCI system, Paraytec‘s expertise is in UV imaging instrumentation, with technology licensees serving customers in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical markets – www.paraytec.com
Microsystems (Warrington, UK)
Manufacturing partner for the filter holder and assembly of the Cellexia filter – www.microsystems.uk.com
Precision Membranes (Utah, USA)
Manufacturing partner of the filter membrane and partner in the research of filtration techniques – www.precisionmembranes.com