Glycoprotein analysis firm hits sweet spot for investors

Glycoprotein analysis firm hits sweet spot for investors

Irish biotech firm GlycoSeLect has developed a time and cost-saving method of biopharma product analysis using carbohydrates formed of sugar molecules

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21st November, 2021

GlycoSeLect is an Irish biotechnology company specialising in the analysis and manufacture of glycoproteins. Its EIIS capital raise will be used to accelerate development of new products and expand applications of GlycoSeLect’s technology.

The current methods of glycoprotein product analysis are time consuming and expensive. GlycoSeLect has developed glycan-specific technology (glycans are a particular sugar structure) to improve high throughput and routine product analysis on several blue-chip industry standard analytical platforms. This has validated its use to develop applications which reduce product purification steps leading to significant savings in manufacturing costs.

The business’s chief executive Robert Dunne is a seasoned pharmaceutical industry executive with experience in both multinational companies and SMEs. He has spent over 40 years in the pharmaceutical industry and has expertise in business development, operations, regulatory and quality management. Dunne is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of the company.

“We support biopharmaceutical product development and manufacturing,” he said. “We license our technology to pharmaceutical industry partners, and participate in medical diagnostic joint ventures and product supply agreements to improve product manufacturing and analysis, thus saving development costs and time to market.

“Our patented technology is glycan-specific lectins (RPL proteins) for use in glycoprotein detection analysis and separation. Our products are validated and in use, having been developed over 18 years.

“Our technology is a significant and major improvement over current glycoprotein separation offerings and is simple, rapid and cost effective.”

Joining Dunne is senior scientist Dr Akram Asadi Shehni, a molecular biologist with 15 years’ experience in the biotechnology applications of glycoscience. She holds a PhD from NUI Galway and has held research positions in the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and the University of Lund, Sweden.

The company is Enterprise Ireland-backed and recently launched its Series A funding round.

Founders and directors, along with Dunne, are Dr Paul Clarke, Dr Róisín Thompson, Dr Ian Evetts and Neil Brown. In addition, its shareholders include Invent DCU, KBI Biopharma USA, Enterprise Ireland and EIIS investors. The business is located in the Hamilton Building at Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9 . There are currently four staff employed, expanding to ten by the end of 2023.

“Our markets are the main global areas of biopharmaceutical product development including Europe, US, China and India,” said Dunne. “GlycoSeLect has recently been invited to join two Irish and one pan-European glycoscience research consortia in 2022. The research in these consortia will develop new therapeutic and diagnostic biomarkers. Our technology will be used in the product analysis and manufacturing development work of the research teams.

“Our technology was also used to probe the structure of the Sars Cov2 virus to assist the vaccine development effort in a major US university.”

GlycoSeLect’s investment round has the benefit of additional access to risk capital finance with savings of up to 40 per cent for EIIS investors. The four-year investment time frame fits into current R&D timelines on new and breakthrough technologies, particularly in the chromatography and diagnostics market.

EIIS also complements the existing shareholder structureat GlycoSeLect. “We are an established company with significant upside potential for investors based on a potential future trade sale to a larger industry partner. Funding will be used to accelerate the development of new products, to support the existing operation and to fund future business development,” said Dunne.

“GlycoSeLect has significant access to a wealth of industry knowledge and experience and we place a lot of importance on our Scientific Advisory Board.”

Key members of the board include Professor Pauline Rudd (formerly of NIBRT and UCD), Professor Richard O’Kennedy (Hamad Bin Khalisa University Qatar), Dr Krista White (VP of Product Development, Unchained Labs) and Dr Prathima Acharya (Biosonata Consulting).

For further details, contact chief executive Robert Dunne: [email protected],, 01-2544164.

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