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Newcastle Uni spin-out bought for $150m

Date 13 Feb 2007

A biotechnology company set up by medical researchers at Newcastle University in collaboration with three other universities has been bought for $150 million by the pharmaceuticals giant, AstraZeneca. Arrow Therapeutics Ltd, which specialises in the discovery and development of anti-viral therapies, was established in 1998 as a 'spin out' company by Newcastle, Cambridge and Oxford Universities and University College London.

Arrow employs 57 staff at its London laboratories and offices and also funds medical research at Newcastle University. Three scientists are employed under contract at Newcastle University, supervised by Alastair Hawkins, Professor of Molecular Genetics, who is one of Arrow's founders. Arrow has also funded the refurbishment of research laboratories at the University.

Professor Trevor Page, head of research at Newcastle University, said: “Arrow is an excellent example of how university research can directly benefit society. Not only are we contributing to the UK economy but we are directly benefiting people, such as the patients receiving new treatments and those who occupy the high quality jobs we are creating. This is exactly the type of thing that the Government is asking universities to do.”

Professor Hawkins said: “This is great news for Arrow and I am very proud of the University for co-founding such a successful company. The key to the growth of Arrow has been excellent research with commercial potential. “The research investment made by the company in my lab has also funded PhD students and facilitated the purchase of specialist scientific instrumentation that has further stimulated basic academic research. Most of the Arrow-funded research in Newcastle has been published in refereed academic journals and is therefore available for the benefit of the wider scientific community. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the company and look forward to a continuing collaboration.”

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