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Double honour recognises world-class science and spin-out success

26.04.2007
World-class pharmaceutical research undertaken at The University of Nottingham and at one of its highly successful spin-out companies has been recognised with the UK’s most prestigious corporate accolade.

The University’s School of Pharmacy, and spin-out company Molecular Profiles, a leader in the provision of innovative contract research services, have each won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Innovation in 2007.

The award underlines The University of Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy’s reputation as an international centre of excellence in research, with teaching and research teams in the UK and Malaysia delivering breakthrough results in biophysics, surface analysis, medicinal chemistry, structural biology, molecular and cellular sciences, drug delivery and tissue engineering. It is also a centre of excellence in social research in medicines and health.

The School and Molecular Profiles are singled out for ‘enhancing significantly the development of new medicines’.

The University’s commitment to the creation of economic growth through technology transfer is reflected in the fact that two awards have been made, one to the University and one to Molecular Profiles Ltd, which is recognised for Innovation in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. Molecular Profiles works with most of the leading pharmaceutical companies globally, providing advanced analytical research through the combination of state-of-the-art instrumentation and scientific expertise. From its base in Nottingham the company has developed a reputation for the transfer of cutting-edge research to the world marketplace and has grown to be one of the UK’s major success stories.

Sir Colin Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “This double recognition underlines the excellence of the research in our School of Pharmacy at its sites in the United Kingdom and at The University of Nottingham in Malaysia; it also recognises phenomenal achievement in the creation of innovative, fast-growing and market-leading enterprise.

“Twelve months ago The University of Nottingham received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade. To receive such distinguished accolades in consecutive years is an exceptional achievement.

“The University congratulates Professor Saul Tendler and his colleagues in The School of Pharmacy, and Dr Nikin Patel and the accomplished team at Molecular Profiles.”

A winner’s celebration for this year’s award winners will be held in London on April 24 followed by a reception in July held by H.M. The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The School of Pharmacy is one of the most highly-rated pharmacy schools in the UK, with a ranking of ‘international excellence’ for its research and teaching rated as ‘excellent’. The four-year undergraduate course is taught by staff who undertake nationally and internationally recognised research, and who reflect this scientific approach in their teaching.

The current Times Good University Guide ranks it as the no.1 Pharmacy School in Britain.

Professor Saul Tendler, Head of The School of Pharmacy, said: “The Queen’s Award acknowledges that the School of Pharmacy at The University of Nottingham ‘is enhancing significantly the development of new medicines.’ This is an achievement of which we are all extremely proud. It acknowledges our excellence in research and teaching in both the UK and Malaysia.

“At the same time it is delightful that Molecular Profiles, which is one of a number of our successful spin-out companies, has also been recognised for their excellence. The School is very proud to have launched this company which was intricately connected to the innovative research conducted at the School in Nottingham and has grown to become a thriving specialist company. It is one of British industry’s most compelling examples of successful knowledge transfer.”

Last year the school launched a new ‘2+2’ MPharm degree course where undergraduate students spend two years at the University's Malaysian campus and then spend two years at University Park. This allows students from Nottingham to undertake one or two semesters’ study in Malaysia as part of their course.

Molecular Profiles offers a contract research service to the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and biomedical sectors, helping companies to effectively develop medicines and medical products and protect their intellectual property.

The award sees the company and its complete range of services recognized as one of the UK’s most innovative during 2007. The services include nanoscreening technology for predicting the ease of development of a new medicine, a deformulation service for identifying problems with the product down to the nanoscale, and advanced imaging for viewing and optimizing the internal structure of products. The company offers services in three areas: formulation support, rapid problem-solving and patent and litigation support. It also has its own in-house research programme, with work regularly published in peer-reviewed journals.

Products that have benefited from the company’s innovative research approaches include novel vaccine formulations, medical devices such as drug eluting stents for coronary disease, inhalation products for asthma, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and novel controlled-release drug delivery systems for a variety of diseases.

Dr Nikin Patel, Chief Executive of Molecular Profiles Ltd, says: “We are extremely honoured to be awarded this prestigious accolade. Our services and technology are highly innovative but it is our scientists who develop the rapid response solutions that solve our customers’ challenges. This award recognizes their expertise and commitment in making Molecular Profiles a cutting edge global contract research company.

Professor Martyn Davies, Chairman and a founder of Molecular Profiles comments “our company was founded on innovation and I am proud to say that ethos has remained as the company has grown successfully over the last ten years. I congratulate the whole team at Molecular Profiles for their amazing efforts, which have been recognized through this award.”

Molecular Profiles is one of more than 25 successful spin-out companies that have started life at The University of Nottingham. Other spin-outs have developed ground-breaking research and are taking it to the international marketplace in the fields of engineering, pharmaceuticals, food science, computer science, agriculture and the environment.

Last year The University of Nottingham won a Queen's Award for Enterprise — in the category of International Trade — in recognition of its pioneering campuses in China and Malaysia, and worldwide international recruitment. Winners of a Queen’s award are entitled to make use of the official award emblem on official communications for the next five years.

Emma Thorne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/public-affairs/press-releases/index.phtml?menu=pressreleases&code=TBAA-70/07&create_date=19-apr-2007

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