Investing in the spin-out

IP Group, the intellectual property commercialisation company, has made its first investment in a University of Glasgow spin-out company.


IP Group, which announced its new partnership with the University of Glasgow in October last year, has invested £400,000 in Wireless bioDevices which has been set up to commercialise wireless sensor technology for use in medical diagnostics.


Based on wireless sensor technology developed by Professor Jon Cooper and Professor David Cumming of the University of Glasgow’s Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, the company’s first product will be a diagnostic pill that detects early signs of bowel cancer. The electronic pill will take measurements as it passes through the body, transmitting the data via a wireless link to a small unit attached externally to the patient. Potentially the device could be used to detect a large range of medically important markers.


Nick Wood, who has been working with the University of Glasgow for the last 12 months under funding from the Scottish Enterprise Glasgow/ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) CEO Designate programme, is Wireless bioDevices’ Chief Executive Officer. Mr Wood is a serial entrepreneur and a founder of Sagentia, the UK listed technology group. Through his incubation company, daVinci Ventures Limited, Mr Wood now specialises in technology commercialisation, working with University spin-outs and start-up companies around the UK.


The CEO Designate program was devised by the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and Caledonian along with Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and secured funding from ERDF. The programme was set up in 2005 to enable the universities to hire CEO’s pre-incorporation to lead the development of spin-out ventures and to manage the businesses through the early stages of their formation. Wireless bioDevices is the first of four projects currently receiving this support at the University of Glasgow.


Professor Steve Beaumont, VP Research & Enterprise, said: ‘We are delighted to launch the first spinout company under our partnership with the IP Group. Wireless bioDevices is based on a combination of technologies developed by our bioelectronics and microelectronics research groups with the support of our life scientists. It is an excellent example of how the University is bringing together experts from many fields to create products that can make a real difference to people’s lives.’


Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: ‘We are delighted to have made our first investment in a Glasgow spin-out company so soon after signing a partnership agreement with the university. Based on ground-breaking technology, Wireless bioDevices is well positioned to meet the needs of its target markets.’


Nick Wood, Chief Executive of Wireless bioDevices, said: ‘The University’s technology is set to revolutionise medical diagnostics, making it possible to take measurements of conditions deep inside the human body. Our first product will have a major impact on diagnosing bowel diseases, and particularly bowel cancer which kills half a million people every year around the world. I am delighted to be leading this exciting opportunity.’