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Newcastle University biotech company (UK)

A biotechnology company co-founded by Newcastle University has been bought for 150 million dollars by the pharmaceuticals giant, AstraZeneca.

Arrow Therapeutics Ltd, which specialises in the discovery and development of anti-viral therapies, was established in 1998, as a 'spin out' company by Newcastle, Cambridge and Oxford Universities and University College London.

Arrow employs 57 staff at its London laboratories and offices and also funds medical research at Newcastle University. Three scientists are employed under contract at Newcastle University, supervised by Alastair Hawkins, Professor of Molecular Genetics in the School of Biomedical Sciences and a founder of Arrow.

Arrow made a research investment in the university which funded the refurbishment of the School of Biomedical Sciences’ laboratories.

Professor Hawkins said Arrow’s investment had also funded PhD students and facilitated the purchase of specialist scientific instrumentation that has further stimulated basic academic research.

Professor Trevor Page, Pro-Vice Chancellor for External Affairs and Research Liaison at Newcastle University said Arrow was an excellent example of how university research could directly benefit society.

“Not only are we contributing to the UK economy but we are directly benefiting people, such as the patients receiving new treatments and those who occupy the high quality jobs we are creating,” Professor Page said.

Newcastle University is no stranger to the success of its spin out companies. In 2003, the university was cited as an example of excellence in technology transfer after it made over £5m from the sale of Novocastra, a spin-out company that specialises in equipment used in hospitals to diagnose cancer.

Contact a counsellor to learn more about studying at the commercially savvy Newcastle University.

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