Trinity Spinout Wins Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Award

Posted on: 22 October 2010

Dr John Gilmer of TCD’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences received the 2010 Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Award in Lifesciences at the Big Ideas Showcase on October 20th last for Solvotrin Therapeutics Ltd, his TCD spinout company working to deliver new innovative drugs to the cardiovascular market. This includes Solvotrin’s bio-activated aspirin which provides similar therapeutic benefits to regular aspirin but without some of the potential harmful side effects.

The Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Awards were presented to researchers and partners who have successfully commercialised their research by the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan, TD. 

Dr John Gilmer and Dr Gordon Elliott.

Solvotrin was founded as a TCD spinout in 2009 based on technology developed by Dr John Gilmer’s team who partnered with entrepreneur Pat O’Flynn and Dr Mark Ledwidge, with support from Enterprise Ireland. The company is focused on reinventing off-patent drugs by chemical modification in order to address side effects, increase efficacy or find new indications. Since inception Solvotrin has made outstanding progress in accelerating the path to market for lead compounds in the antiplatelet and dyslipidemia areas.

Dr Gordon Elliott, Case Manager for Translational Science at TCD’s Technology Transfer Office who negotiated the spin-out and license on behalf of TCD commented that “this is an excellent example of academic-industry interaction. The aspirin pro-drug technology was originally conceived by John and his team as part of a project funded by the Provost’s Academic Development Fund and was subsequently supported strongly by Enterprise Ireland in terms of both technology development and patenting/commercialisation. We can really see the wheel turning full circle in this case – in the short term we have Solvotrin already doing contract research at Trinity and soon to initiate significant collaborative research at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, hopefully generating significant returns in the long term feeding back into College resources which kick-started this work.  John is doing excellent basic science generating high impact publications as well as making a huge contribution to the translational aspects of his research outputs”.

Solvotrin’s lead cardiovascular compound, ST0701, is a bio-activated compound which provides optimal aspirin release directly into the bloodstream, without the direct gastrointestinal side effects associated with regular aspirin. This is a breakthrough advance in aspirin based treatment of cardiovascular disease protecting the gastrointestinal tract from the harmful effects of aspirin because the drug is not activated until it passes out of the gut and into the bloodstream. ST-0701 will complete Phase I testing in 2011.

Another of Solvotrin’s “super aspirins” is ST0702, which is a bio-activated compound releasing both aspirin and nicotinic acid which will confer additional benefits to current treatments for dyslipidaemia.  ST0702 is undergoing pre-clinical development and Phase 1 testing is expected to be completed in 2012.