Even though charities and academia have entered into research partnerships before, the partnership between Parkinson’s UK and Sheffield is the first time a charity has approached researchers to launch a spin-out company with the agenda to advance a particular research programme.
The Life Sciences team at JAG Shaw Baker has extensive experience with spin-out companies. The team was instrumental in structuring Keapstone Therapeutics in a way that aligned with Parkinson UK’s over-arching charitable objectives, the academic principles of Sheffield University and the requirements of a high-growth company.
The Spin Out
Keapstone Therapeutics was formed to create new treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The company will work with different partners, including Synature Discovery, to ensure that if any drug development programme shows promise, it can swiftly move towards clinical trials.
According to a press release from Parkinson’s UK, Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, said the new programme of work will enable them to act in a similar way as a small biotech company. Yet, unlike a commercial company, their primary goal will be the creation of new treatments to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s.
“By seeking early collaboration with a University in the creation of a spin-out biotech company, we will be able to investigate and develop potential Parkinson’s treatments with an intensity that is unprecedented for a charity,” said Roach.