Pertinax Pharma is launching its antimicrobial products into the commercial market after 12 months of business growth and development at Future Space, Bristol’s new tech and science hub.
The company, which was founded in 2015 by Reader in Biomaterials Dr Michele Barbour, has created a slow-release technology that provides controlled and sustained delivery of the antiseptic, chlorhexidine.
Since moving into a private laboratory space 12 months ago at Future Space, which is based on the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol’s Frenchay campus, Pertinax has been able to expand its team and scale up the production of its products for commercial use.
The company has last month appointed Nigel Brooksby, a former chairman of Sanofi UK, as chairman to oversee the commercialisation of Pertinax.
“We’re now ready to offer this product to the outside world,” said Michele now CEO of the company.
“We’re looking to partner with companies that have products with antimicrobial characteristics that could be more efficient or effective, or that have products they want to introduce antimicrobial characteristics to. We will work in partnership with these companies to develop Pertinax products which they will then take to market.”
The company’s proprietary Pertinax technology is protected by patents in the UK (2015) and USA (2017) and patent pending elsewhere. A spin-out of the University of Bristol and initially based there, Pertinax moved to Future Space last year in need of private space to initiate the quality management and accreditations needed to bring the product to market.
Funded by a combination of venture capital and public money through Innovate UK’s Aid for Start-Ups, Pertinax is currently recruiting a new business development director who will be focused on three target markets – wound dressings, veterinary applications and dental materials.
“Pertinax is a platform technology”, said Michele. “There are many, many potential applications, and establishing which we had the most commercial traction with was vital.
“Over the past 18 months we have built a team of outstanding scientists and a highly experienced management team, and have focused on regulatory and manufacture challenges. We now have clarity on our processes and where we need to put our resources.”
Pertinax currently do all the manufacturing inhouse but will be looking to contract this out within the next 12 months as partners require GMP material.
Michele said: “Future Space offered us an excellent environment in which to grow and reach this point.
“As well as the private lab and office space - a must for us - Future Space also offers excellent networking opportunities with other early stage tech focused companies.
“It’s great for recruitment and retention of staff and bringing guests in for meetings, as it’s a contemporary, stylish place to work. The transport links are handy too.
“As the first client to take private lab space, it’s been great to see it build up over the time we’ve been here.
“Before Future Space was launched as Bristol’s first tech and science hub of this nature, we thought we may have to leave the area and move to Oxford or Wales and we’re all really pleased we were able to stay in Bristol.”