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Avacta offers solutions to industrial technology shortfalls


A new company has been spun out of the University of Leeds to develop enabling technologies based on its innovative and world leading analytical science base.

Avacta Ltd has a strong background in the development of novel technologies applicable to the biomedical, materials and nanotechnology sectors and is focused on developing solutions to technology shortfalls in the biotech, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

Spun out by Techtran Group Ltd – the University’s commercialisation partner, Avacta is supporting these IP generation activities by providing one of the most comprehensive in-house analytical services in the world. Avacta provides industry with access to Leeds and other regional Universities’ state of the art physical and chemical analytical infrastructure and a complete project management package from problem identification through to choice of technical solution and implementation.

Avacta is headed by Dr Alastair Smith from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leeds, together with fellow directors Dr Simon Webster, Dr Kurt Baldwin and Alan Brain.

Together they have extensive industrial experience and a strong track record in the development of enabling technologies and the provision of analytical services to industry and in pharmaceutical patent litigation processes. In addition to providing a comprehensive analytical service, the company’s combined skills in optical and spectroscopic instrumentation design enables Avacta to provide expert design and implementation of quality and process control solutions.

Dr Smith’s background in molecular biophysics has established in-house R&D programmes aimed at tackling key problems which face the pharmaceutical industries such as how to conduct high throughput testing of membrane proteins which are major drug targets but difficult to handle in a conventional biochip approach due to their insolubility. Avacta is also working on ways of pushing detection technologies to the ultimate limit of single molecule sensitivity and new approaches to high throughput assays without the need for time consuming and costly fluorescent labelling.

Dr Smith said “Avacta’s approach to supporting a strong and innovative R&D programme through its analytical services and technical consultancy activities has provided us with a sound basis for growth and a tremendously exciting outlook”.

Techtran Investment manager, Dr Alex Stevenson said: “Avacta is focusing on developing new products and services for market areas with significant growth potential and the founders have an outstanding track record of delivery. We look forward to working with the management team to grow the business. ”

Dr Alex Stevenson | alfa
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