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Our current projects

Let’s make the world a better place 

Looking for a life science innovation with excellent market potential for industrial licensing or a spin out?  

Here is a selection of our current Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Digital Health projects. Each one has been selected for its commercial potential for investors or industry, and funded and supported by King's Commercialisation Institute. 

To discover more, or for information about other projects in our pipeline, please  get in touch

 

A biomarker predictive of response to mesenchymal stem cells

The response rates to stem cell therapies are highly variable. A team at King’s have shown that patients can now be defined and selected before treatment as ‘responders’ or ‘non-responders’ based upon data from either a ‘cell killing’ assay or by using a simpler in vitro biomarker assay. This data can then be used as a companion diagnostic to identify patients suitable for MSC treatment. Stem cell therapies have the potential to address a variety of clinical unmet needs in many key disease areas such as inflammatory disorders and regenerative medicine. There is significant potential in using mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapies to address such unmet needs, exemplified with a recent EMA approval of an MSC therapy to treat Crohn’s disease.

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Inducible apoptotic mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of inflammatory conditions

Stem cell therapies have the potential to address a variety of clinical unmet needs in many key disease areas, such as inflammatory disorders and regenerative medicine. There is significant interest in using mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapies to address such unmet needs, however the efficacy of these treatments in clinical trials has been shown to be highly variable. The King’s team have developed a novel stem cell therapy (apoMSC) to overcome the variable response rates which clinically limit such treatments.

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New generation efflux-resistant antibiotics

Antimicrobial drug resistance is a growing threat to global public health. Multidrug resistance among the ‘ESKAPEE’ organisms is of particular concern as they are responsible for many of the serious hospital infections.

As removal of the drug from the bacterial cell by efflux pumps plays a key role in resistance to most antibiotics, the King’s College London and Public Health England teams have tackled this problem by targeting antibiotic activity in tandem with inhibition of the efflux pump.

From a detailed understanding of the structural characteristics of the efflux pumps, the team have developed potent broad-spectrum antibiotics with excellent pharmacokinetic and in vivo properties that have shown low mutation frequency in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains suggesting a low probability of developing resistance. Further work is underway to extend the spectrum of activity.

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Soft self propelling endoscope

A soft, self-propelling flexible single use endoscope for pain-free examinations of the colon and small intestine will improve the treatment uptake and management of serious intestinal diseases including colorectal cancer. A novel clinician assisted semi-automatic crawling mechanism reduces stress on the intestinal wall and thus patient pain. Two working channels can be provided. This ensures patients will receive effective diagnosis and treatment earlier than at present in a large and growing market with more than one million colonoscopies carried out each year in the UK alone.

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Development of a novel therapeutic for inflammatory lung diseases

Inflammatory lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represent a substantial medical need which, despite existing medicines, are insufficiently treated. Inhaled steroids do not work in 10% of asthmatics (such patients draw 90% of the asthma healthcare resources), and have been questioned in COPD; moreover, the inhaled steroids and fibrotic aspects represent significant unmet medical needs.

Current therapies are directed at increasing bronchodilatation and reducing airways inflammation, often with combination products. This technology takes an entirely different approach, addressing the root cause of asthma and COPD, as well as remodelling/fibrosis, through a single mechanism of action.

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Device for measuring the residual bacterial burden during root canal treatments

Bacteria remaining in the dental root canal space at the time of completion of a root canal treatment can lead to a persistent or secondary infection, which requires revision of the treatment. Currently, there are no methods in use to detect bacterial presence within the root canal space in a fast and reliable manner. This patient-side test to detect the bacterial contamination during root canal preparation uses paper points and measures the success of the preparation. The approach is likely to be low capital cost to the dentist and improve success rates and practice building. It could appeal to a range of dental device companies for commercialisation.

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Image guided drug delivery using hyperthermia

A unique image-guided drug therapy. Hyperthermia focused at the target tissue is used to activate multiply-enhanced quantities of a drug cargo precisely at the site of action, while minimising its systemic side-effects. It is expected to be particularly suitable for delivery of cytotoxic APIs for the shrinkage of non- or oligo-metastatic tumours.

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Assay for predicting patients’ conversion to Alzheimer's Disease and monitoring disease progression

An in vitro assay of human hippocampal neurogenesis (HN) which utilises an established human hippocampal progenitor cell line and patients’ serum to provide prediction of progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and helps distinguish those individuals diagnosed with MCI who will or will not develop AD. Early diagnosis of AD enables earlier implementation of interventions aimed at delaying symptom progression and facilitates decisions regarding lifestyle changes.

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SlowMo for paranoia and psychosis

Can we help the 1 in 5 people who frequently experience paranoid thoughts about other people wanting to harm them? SlowMo is an innovative blended digital therapy for people with severe mental health problems. SlowMo targets problematic fast thinking habits shown to play a causal role in paranoia by encouraging people to slow down for a moment. Thoughts are represented as bubbles, with different speeds, sizes and colours, which can be slowed down and popped. Able to visualise thoughts, patients find it easier to understand their thoughts as transient, and reflective of a range of distress and thinking habits. The software will help clinicians understand and monitor and treat paranoia saving time and improving outcomes. An interactive, digital interface assists the therapist to deliver sessions which is supported by a mobile app for use in daily life.

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