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Impact Case Studies

Durham Chemistry P&G Strategic Partnership

Research from the strategic partnership between Procter and Gamble (P&G) and Durham Chemistry has "enabled unique and globally scalable innovation that has improved billions of consumers' lives around the world". The collaboration has led to direct impact on consumer goods innovation, research savings to P&G, support/creation of ~150 jobs in the North East, and inward investment from the USA. P&G's preferred platform for skin testing new consumer products is now Durham's Alvetex® 3D cell culture technology. Outreach activities impacting >6500 members of the public and featured on the BBC show "Inside Out" have arisen from the research.

Structural Science Software and Solutions

Chemistry research has led to many widely-used crystallographic tools, diagnostic routines, software packages and enhanced instrumentation. Examples include an array of powerful commercial software packages – Olex2, Autochem, LabSafe, TOPAS and NAMI; new protein crystallisation screening kits (Durham Screens); supramolecular organogelators commercialised for pharmaceutical crystallisation; and the pHeniX powder cryostat apparatus. Based upon the world-leading expertise in Durham we have delivered complementary crystallographic research-based services and training to enable the next generation of industrial and academic chemists to save time and money through the Durham research inspired state-of-the-art analytical techniques.

Fluorescent Retinoids

Durham University spin-out, LightOx Ltd (Est:  Aug 2016) is underpinned by interdisciplinary patented research spanning the fields of spectroscopy (fluorescence, emissive), medicinal chemistry and biology. LightOx has successfully raised over GBP2m in staged funding, currently employs 11 scientists, and is engaged with commercialising Durham research, to provide innovative technologies focussed on retinoid signalling pathways. The company sells a complementary range of functional probes, diagnostic imaging kits and new phototherapeutic drugs. LightOx was winner of the Bionow ‘Start-up of the Year’  and  ‘Product of the Year’ (Nov-2018) categories. The recently established newco Nevrargenics  Ltd  (Est: Dec-2019), is the sister company also based upon Durham retinoid chemistry, which aims to develop a range of therapeutic drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. The valuation of LightOx is ascribed as GBP9m and Nevrargenics GBP18m following substantial third-party investment rounds.

Impact retinoid

Applied Graphene Materials PLC

Durham Chemistry’s development of a continuous synthesis of graphene nanoplatelets provided the intellectual property for the formation of the spin-out Durham Graphene Science which was listed on FTSE AIM index in November 2013 as Applied Graphene Materials plc (AGM). The IPO valued the company at GBP26.2m. AGM has to date raised over GBP29.3m in venture capital funding, has 33 employees (2020 payroll, GBP2.20m) and has invested GBP2.85m in infrastructure to supply graphene for products developed with commercial partners including  Halfords, SHD  composites, Airbus Defence and Space, James Briggs Ltd, Century, Infinite  Composites, Alltimes Coatings, Blocksil and Applied Nano Surfaces.