08 Sep 2015
Trustech recently caught up with Dr Paul Colbon (PC), COO and Director of Liverpool ChiroChem, to find out about their technology and the organisation’s aims for the future.
TRUSTECH: Tell us about your innovation and what impact it could have on the NHS and its patients
PC: The technology is a newly developed chemical process that allows the production of ‘Molecular Lego’, which is used by pharmaceutical companies to discover and produce new drug molecules. The efficient manufacturing process allows the specialist chemicals to be produced in 3-4 steps rather than 10-12, which leads to significantly reduced costs and a higher purity product. This gives the pharmaceutical companies access to a wide variety of novel, affordable chemicals, which means they have more chance to discover new and improved drugs that can be produced at a cheaper cost. If we can help reduce the cost of drug discovery and production, this will ultimately allow the NHS to provide more treatment options to its patients.
TT: What is your vision for future growth?
PC: The company has secured more than half a million pounds of equity investment, which is now being used to hire staff and purchase capital equipment that will allow increased production of the novel products. The company will also carry out our research and method development locally, in order to continually increase the product range and increase the efficiency of larger scale production.
TT: What does it mean to your company to be recognised by the Merseyside Innovation Awards?
PC: Winning the Merseyside Innovation Awards has had a direct impact on the company, as it has increased our profile within the North-West region, which has led to more investment from angel investors from Merseyside. The company was formed as a spin-out from the University of Liverpool, on the back of world-leading research that led to the initial discovery of the IP. We are committed to fulfilling the complete impact of the research and the benefits it can have to the Merseyside region and local economy.
TT: As a recognised innovator, if there was one piece of advice you could give to other innovators in Merseyside, or anywhere else, what would it be?
PC: At the start of the journey, almost everyone we spoke to told us not to pursue the idea of starting a company, suggesting that it was too high risk and impossible to raise the necessary funds. The only advice I would give them is to trust your own instinct and if you really believe that your technology is commercially viable and could benefit society at the same time then only good things can come from it and you will learn a great deal along the way, whether you succeed or not.