Bio breakthrough

X-Genix in talks to bring drugs process to market

Rebecca Goss

Rebecca Goss: exciting juncture

A St Andrews biotech startup is in talks with top global pharmaceuticals firms to bring its revolutionary medicines technology to market.

X-Genix, which is in the process of spinning out from the Fife university, has developed a new way to make medicines, including antibiotics.

Its team of researchers has discovered a natural bio-based procedure to replace chlorine in the manufacturing process.

The company believes there is an opportunity to introduce more sustainable methods into a market worth more than $250 billion per year.

Over the past two years the company has secured around £1.5 million, including a £15,000 grant from the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) to build the business model and to help the spin-out to become investor-ready.

X-Genix team
X-Genix team: (L-R) Montella Simeon-Gordon,  Rosemary Lynch, Peter Ming Tong and Rebecca Goss

The company has plans to move into a purpose-built space at the new Eden Enterprise Hub in Fife later this year.

Rebecca Goss, founder of X-Genix and professor of biomolecular and organic chemistry at the University, said: “Following a decade of research that has helped us to reach this point… we are now at a particularly exciting juncture in bringing our process to the wider market.

“Using enzymes is something the pharmaceuticals industry is beginning to look at more frequently for mainstream processes and we have developed a method for using bio-based alternatives to typically unstable and potentially toxic chlorine gas, usually produced overseas.

“We are now in talks with a number of potential partners from across the globe to help enhance the sustainability of their processes and explore how our unique use of enzymes can support future drug development.”

Liz Fletcher, director of business engagement at IBioIC, added: “X-Genix’s work is a great example of how organic chemistry and bio-based processes can help to improve the sustainability of everyday manufacturing processes and open production opportunities in the UK.

“This is the first time IBioIC has awarded funding of this kind to a university spin-out and we were able to offer valuable support to help the company get to this point, both in terms of technical development and business strategy.”

Last year Ms Goss was among four winners of a mentoring package and trade mission through the AccelerateHER scheme which supports entrepreneurial women.

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