University of Bristol spin-out CytoSeek appoints CEO

CytoSeek Ltd, a discovery-stage biotech company developing the next generation of cell therapies to treat cancer using its pioneering cell-membrane augmentation technology, announces today [20 Jan] the appointment of Dr Carolyn Porter as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the company.

CytoSeek is a spin-out from the University of Bristol based on research led by Professor Adam Perriman, a Professor of Bioengineering in the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. The Company’s technology enables the addition of new functionalities to cell therapies including tissue-specific targeting and enhanced cell survivability. CytoSeek is applying its technology to enable development of more effective cell therapies for the treatment of cancer.

Carolyn brings 20-years of leadership experience, including in the spin-out arena, having led the formation of 16 companies raising £52M cumulatively in seed financing while in a previous role at the University of Oxford. Carolyn has also held Board positions in several biotech companies. Most recently, Carolyn was Chief Business Officer of OxStem Ltd, a biotech developing therapies targeting stem cells, and has held senior Business Development roles in large pharma (Novartis) and biotech (Chiron) companies working on in/out licensing transactions, acquisitions and strategic alliances with deal values in excess of $1bn.

Dr Porter, said: “Cell Therapy is expected to be one of the next cornerstones of cancer treatments. Currently, challenges remain in bringing these therapies to cancer patients particularly those affected by solid tumours. CytoSeek’s technology aims to address several of these challenges such as improving the efficacy of these therapies in solid tumours. I am excited to be joining the CytoSeek team, to lead the company through its next phase of development and to join a thriving biotech community in Bristol.”

CytoSeek has undertaken initial studies to demonstrate enhancement of cell therapies not only for cancer but also for other potential indications including heart disease and osteoarthritis demonstrating the breadth of applications for its platform. The Company will be seeking commercialisation partnerships with cell therapy companies to bring next generation of advanced cell therapy products to the clinic and ultimately to patients.

Keith MacDonald, Chairman of CytoSeek, added: “We are delighted to welcome Carolyn to the CytoSeek team. Her experience of working with spin-out companies and her track record of executing partnership transactions will enable the company to build on its successful start.”

About CytoSeek

CytoSeek is a discovery stage biotech company established to develop next generation cell therapies using cellmembrane augmentation technology originating from Professor Adam Perriman’s group at Bristol University. The Company is based at Unit Dx in St Philips, Bristol and closed a £1.1M funding round in November 2019. Investors included local entrepreneurs, members of the Bristol Private Equity Club, the Venture Capital Fund UKI2S and the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund managed by Parkwalk Advisors.

Final call for applications – apply now for the 2020 MacRobert Award for UK engineering innovation Closing date – 31 January 2020

The Award is the UK’s longest running and most prestigious prize for engineering innovation. It recognises outstanding engineering innovation combined with proven commercial success and tangible social benefit.

Winners receive a £50,000 cash prize, gold medal and national acclaim.

Applications are welcomed from right across the breadth of engineering from small and large companies, as well as newcomers and those well-established in their industries. We welcome applications that showcase the diversity of talent supporting UK engineering innovation.

University of Bristol Enterprise Fund

The University of Bristol Enterprise Fund III (supported by the Research Commercialisation Team)  is almost fully committed within 9 months of launch. Companies funded to date are Inductosense, Cytoseek, Mogrify, Industrial Phycology and LettUs Grow with a further three offers that should close by February 2020. The increased speed of investment (Fund I took almost 2 years) is indicative of the increasing number of good quality spin off and start up companies and interest in the Fund. The team are discussing raising Fund IV.