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22 Jul 2007

A new partnership between Newcastle University and Teesside Specialty Biochemical Company

One NorthEast has funded a Collaborative Innovative Partnership (CIP) between Cambridge Research Biochemicals, a leading specialist biochemicals manufacturer based in Billingham, and the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University.

A CIP is a three way-partnership between a company, an academic institution and a post-graduate to enable a business to access specific expertise and knowledge from an academic institution.

Emily Humphrys, Commercial Director of Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB), said:

“We are thrilled to be working with a local University such as Newcastle as geographic proximity enhances interactions between the teams.

At CRB, we are experts in the chemistry of our products and services but want to better understand how our existing products are used and applied from a biologist’s perspective so that we can extend and enhance our product offer to research scientists in the life sciences. The Collaborative Innovative Partnership (CIP) can also provide us with the opportunity to access knowledge of new techniques and practices which we may be able to translate into new products.”

“We are delighted that through this CIP we have a fantastic opportunity to work together with Cambridge Research Biochemicals, a local company who supply biochemical products to some of the leading players in medical and pharmaceutical research.

The partnership will allow CRB to gain from our expertise as users of antibodies in medical research and in particular from our research group’s position at the forefront of use of automated microscopy for discovery of new drug targets. This is an area that is full of exciting new possibilities in a growing market for a producer in high quality antibodies. The partnership will in return allow us to transfer the expertise that CRB possesses in operating under the pressures of the commercial world into our research group.

Through the SRIF2 initiative the Bioimaging Group in Newcastle has received more than £0.5 million worth of new equipment. Newcastle was the first UK University to invest in a new type of microscope allowing us to perform a technique called High Content Analysis. This approach can speed research by allowing multiple measurements of responses, drugs or hormones to be performed in parallel and is rapidly becoming a key tool in drug discovery for the pharmaceutical industry. Our group are at the forefront of this technology and can help CRB to develop their business to cater for users of High Content Systems.

We must also thank BioNET, the North East’s own unique network linking life science researchers together with local industry, whose events have helped to bring our research group together with CRB

I very much hope this CIP is only the first step in forming a long term knowledge transfer partnership between the Cellular Medicine laboratory and CRB and may help provide a template for similar partnerships between other researchers in the Institute of Cellular Medicine and local companies.”

Mrs Humphrys added:

“We have been looking for an opportunity to form links with local Universities and the working collaboration of the CIP programme (6 months) allows us to test the water before possibly moving to a longer term relationship like a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) which lasts three years.”

For further information about:
Collaborative Innovative Partnerships or KTPs please contact Fiona McCusker at Newcastle University on 0191 222 5911.

Cambridge Research Biochemicals contact Emily Humphrys on 01642 567182.