Invest Edinburgh Interview with Elizabeth Roper – Biotech Company Nodthera Launched in Edinburgh

Originally published October 31, 2016 in Invest Edinburgh

A new biotech company called Nodthera has been launched in Edinburgh to develop potential treatments for a range of diseases including Alzheimer’s. We spoke to Elizabeth Roper, a partner in Edinburgh-based equity capital specialist Epidarex…

What will Nodthera do and why is this important?

Nodthera will develop new drug candidates for various chronic inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and neuro-inflammation diseases such as the Alzheimer’s drug market (an estimated 26 million people are currently suffering from the condition worldwide). There are currently no approved disease-modifying treatments available for Alzheimer’s patients.

Why are you headquartering in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is a key hub in the Scottish ‘ecosystem’ for early-stage and high growth life science and health technology companies.  In addition to Epidarex Capital’s European head office being in Edinburgh, there is also significant ‘wrap-around’ support for the life science sector in Scotland, not least from Scottish Enterprise.

Who are the partners? What is the rationale behind the launch?

Nodthera’s founding partners are Epidarex Capital and Selvita.

Epidarex Capital invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies in under-ventured markets within the UK and US. We were created to meet the need for more sector-specific risk capital for young companies, including spin-outs from leading research universities. The fund’s international management team has a track record of successfully partnering with top scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market.

Selvita is a drug discovery company engaged in the research and development of breakthrough therapies primarily in the area of oncology, as well as provision of integrated drug discovery services. Selvita was established in 2007 and currently employs over 340 people, including 111 PhDs, with extensive experience in the area of life sciences. Selvita has currently several projects at early or late discovery stage and is expected to move its first candidates to the clinic in 2016. The company’s drug discovery clients include more than 50 large and medium-sized pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies from USA and Europe. Selvita has offices in the Greater Boston Area, San Francisco Bay Area, Cambridge, UK, as well as in Krakow and Poznan, Poland. The company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE:SLV).

What does this mean for Edinburgh/Scotland and the potential for Nodthera?

Nodthera hopes to bring this exciting very exciting science to patients who are currently suffering from various diseases. It would be a boost to the growing life sciences sector in Scotland if Nodthera can succeed in addressing the very large unmet patient need across these disease areas.

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