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University of Bristol chemistry start-up secures £1million funding

Published: Tuesday, 19 July 2016   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

A start-up chemistry company from the University of Bristol has secured more than £1 million in funding via private investment and government grants.

Ziylo now has nine full time employees and is developing a new sugar sensing platform that uses ground-breaking research around synthetic lections – synthetic sugar receptors.

Given that sugar drives nearly all biological processes in some way, the pioneering research has seen the development of the world’s first artificial biomimetic sugar receptors. 

Professor Anthony Davis led the Davis Research Group that initially developed the molecules in Bristol.
By monitoring sugar intake with real-time information, it is possible to see how organisms function – Ziylo’s sugar receptors have uses in industrial procedures such as bio-reactors and fermentation takes.

The technology can also be used in healthcare to measure blood glucose levels, meaning it is especially important for diabetics who can measure their levels far more accurately than was previously possible.

Ground-breaking research

Ziylo claimed the ‘One to watch’ award from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) at the annual Emerging Technology competition.

Innovate UK have also given their validation to the work being carried out, and according to Ziylo CEO Dr Harry Destecroix, the next step is to start the commercialisation process.

Head of the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, Professor Nick Norman, said it is “particularly gratifying” that the company was set up by a university graduate, while other graduates and former research staff are among its employees.

Professor Davis has led research into synthetic lectins for around 20 years and has been at the forefront of several major developments. 

He won the Physical Organic Chemistry Award from the RSC in 2015 for his work while Ziylo has received much financial backing since its inception in 2014.

This includes £500,000 from Innovate UK as part of the Innovation-to-Commercialisation ICURe programme and £142,000 from the Innovation 4 Growth scheme.

For graduate jobs in chemistry and other STEM related backgrounds, visit Grad Plus today

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