Newcastle-based drug discovery company e-Therapeutics is to set to float on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to raise £3m to improve its testing processes.
The six-year-old business, founded in 2001 as a spinout from the engineering and physical sciences school at Newcastle University, will be valued at £35m on its flotation at the end of this month. It hopes to raise between £3 and £5m through sales of shares, which will go towards upgrading its computational systems biology machine, increasing its number of microprocessors fivefold to increase its processing speed.
Systems biology technology predicts the effect of drugs on different proteins in the body, effectively determining if a drug is safe to test on humans. This could reduce the risk of incidents such as the testing at Northwick Park, where several volunteers suffered extreme harmful immune system reactions to a drug under test.
e-Therapeutics last hit the headlines in January when it announced that it had made a drug which could kill off the MRSA superbug.
The company has an annual turnover of £1m but it said that it now hopes to be able to more than quadruple this figure over the next two years. The funds it raises will also be put towards research into treatments for disorders including depression, high cholesterol and malignant melanomas.
The company already has offices in China and India and plans to set up offices in Vancouver to help expand its client base in the US and Canada.