WELSH nanotechnology company Q Chip has signed a new research deal with one of the UK's biggest biotechnology firms.
Cardiff-based Q Chip has agreed the joint venture with FTSE techMark 100-listed Biocompatibles International, a medical device company which is focused on the treatment of cardiovascular disease, cancer and benign tumours.
The Welsh company possesses technology which enables the production of uniform particles at a molecular level.
It uses tiny capillaries etched in wafers to precisely create micro and nanoparticles.
By using many of these wafers in tandem, the company can create particles on a commercial scale and avoid high levels of waste associated with other production techniques.
The technology has appli-cations in the food, pharmaceu-tical and cosmetic industries.
The aim of the collaboration is to develop a new device for the production of Biocompatibles' next generation of microspheres. These would allow the effective delivery of drugs to targeted parts of the body.
Under the terms of the agreement Q Chip will receive a combination of fees and milestone payments, while Biocompatibles will have exclusive rights to Q Chip's intellectual property portfolio for certain applications for the duration of the research project.
Biocompatibles is a leading provider of advanced biomedical polymers for medical devices and drug delivery.
Peter Stratford, Biocompatibles' managing director for drug delivery, said the company hoped to use Q Chip's expertise to strengthen its product range.
"We are excited to enter this alliance with Q Chip," Mr Stratford said.
"This collaboration will provide unique materials and methods of production to strengthen our pipeline of products."
"Q Chip's microfluidic engineering technology enables the development and production of monodisperse, uniformly shaped microparticles," he added.
"Q Chip achieves this by the precision formation of particles in micron-scale capillaries etched in bioinert wafers, operated in large parallel arrays to enable high throughput.
"The processing system is designed to improve manu-facturing efficiency and reduced wastage."
Mark Barry, chief executive of Q Chip, said the deal showed the strength of his company's technology. "I am delighted to have sealed this relationship with one of the United Kingdom's commercial leaders in the life-sciences sector," Mr Barry said.
"Not only does it provide clear evidence of the appetite being generated by our unique technology platform.
"It also signals our ability to deliver our business targets to an accelerated timescale."
The new deal is the second positive announcement from the company.
In July Q Chip announced it had attracted almost £500,000 of early-stage funding from investors including Jon Moulton of venture capitalists Alchemy Partners and E-Synergy, a City financial institution which talent-spots firms with exciting growth prospects.