Biotech firm inks deals with key players in global pharmaceutical industry

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Aptamer Group Limited, a York-based biotechnology company, has signed key deals with large pharma partners over the last few months.

They mean the company is again expanding its workforce, with new roles available across the scientific and commercial sides of the business.

At the start of March, the company announced a collaboration with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, investigating Aptamer’s technology for use in the treatment of kidney disease.

This is an extension of an earlier working agreement between the two companies.

Together, Aptamer and AZ will examine new ways to deliver gene therapy drugs to the kidney, with the aim of increasing the treatment potential of AZ’s drugs and reducing the side effects of these medicines.

A spokesman for AZ said that “By working together with Aptamer Group and leveraging their technology, we aim to identify novel targeting aptamers to deliver drug molecules to the kidney.”

Further news of collaborations with drug development partners in Asia Pacific were announced last week.

New partners include Takeda, a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company, with which Aptamer will work on a range of drugs to support Takeda’s drug development pipeline, and PinotBio, a Korean company which aims to use Aptamer’s technology in generating targeted chemotherapeutics for the treatment of blood cancers, such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Meanwhile, Aptamer has also been busy developing its own lateral flow test for COVID-19.

This is a rapid diagnostic test that delivers results in just 10 minutes and will be CE marked over the coming months.

Clinical testing is currently underway at Newcastle and the company aims to deliver this test to support the opening of the economy during the summer.

Dr Arron Tolley, chief executive officer of Aptamer Group, said: “Aptamer technology has great potential to offer faster and cheaper diagnostics and improve drug development to improve outcomes for a range of diseases.

“I am really excited by the progress we are making at Aptamer and the recognition we are beginning to see for our technology with a lot of key partners across the industry.

“It is great that we can continue attracting and retaining top talent to the region, across the commercial and science sides of the business as the company continues to expand.”

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