NETPark based biotech firm Magnitude Biosciences makes acquisition to expand reach

A growing North East biotech company that spun out of Durham University has acquired a London firm to increase the services it offers.

Magnitude Biosciences Ltd, which is based at NETPark in Sedgefield, has acquired Invermis Ltd, a specialist transgenics services provider.

Magnitude was founded in 2018 by biosciences expert Dr David Weinkove and physicist Dr Christopher Saunters, and uses invertebrates as a faster and cheaper alternative to mouse studies for early pre-clinical drug development and academic research.

The company said its deal to buy Invermis would strengthen its portfolio of contract research services for the international ageing, neurodegenerative and microbiome scientific community.

Invermis’ existing training workshops and services will now be conducted from Magnitude’s laboratories in County Durham, allowing the company to service larger projects.

Dr Weinkove, CEO of Magnitude, said: “Our acquisition of Invermis marks a significant step for Magnitude Biosciences as it adds a new range of services to our existing portfolio to create a European centre of excellence – and it’s based here in the North East!’’

As part of the take-over, Dr Michael Fasseas, founder of Invermis, has been appointed as head of experiments to oversee a unified and expanded operation workflow in Durham.

The company said that his expertise in areas such as neurodegenerative disease and innate immunity would complement to Magnitude Biosciences’ core services for efficacy and safety preclinical assays.

Dr Fasseas said: “’I am excited to become part of the Magnitude team here in the North East.

“Invermis and Magnitude have each put a lot of effort in perfecting highly specialised skills, and combining them will be very powerful, as well as make life easier for our clients. Together, we will be able to offer more, and better demonstrate what a great alternative model C.elegans is to the pharmaceutical industry.’’

Magnitude Biosciences secured a £375,000 investment from the North East Innovation Fund at the end of last year, following on from £150,000 in seed investment from Northstar Ventures and Saker Capital at the end of 2018, which allowed the company to serve its first customers, validate its technology, and develop a range of automated assays.

News source: Chronicle live.

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