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White Rose Technology backs Asterion

Asterion, a former subsidiary of the University of Sheffield, develops drugs which can alleviate a range of hormone-related diseases.

The White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund, which is managed by Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity, is investing £245,000 in the establishment of Asterion Limited.

Asterion was previously a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Sheffield. Professors Richard Ross and Peter Artymiuk and Dr Jon Sayers research and develop drugs which aim to alleviate a range of hormone-related illnesses.

Gerry White, associate director of Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity, expects Asterion technology to have major advantages over current competitors. “It has a lower dose requirement, therefore making it more economical, and is a platform technology, that is, it can be used to develop a larger number of drugs for the therapy of a wide variety of diseases including rare pituitary tumours, diabetes and cancer,” he said.

The White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund is a consortium of Leeds, Sheffield and York universities set up in March 1999. The £6m fund attracted £4.5m from the Government’s new University Challenge Fund, with the White Rose consortium adding a further £1.5m. The aim of the Fund is to create jobs by turning university research into real business opportunities.