Launch of a new startup

Orthopaedic Research UK and Embryo Ventures Launch Novara Therapeutics to Accelerate Commercialisation of Pioneering Medical Technology

Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) and Embryo Ventures (Embryo) announce the formation of Novara Therapeutics, a joint venture company, to commercialise a patented bone-targeting contrast agent. Novara Therapeutics will focus on pre-clinical development of the proprietary imaging and therapeutic technology to advance diagnosis and treatment of bone disease in patients.

Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease, affecting over 200 million people worldwide1. The condition is characterised by a progressive reduction in bone mass and strength that results in more than 8.9 million osteoporotic fracture annually1. With one in three women and one in five men aged over 50 years experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime, the condition poses a major public health challenge that is expected to increase markedly as the world’s ageing population continues to rise – the annual cost to the UK alone is estimated to reach over £5.8 billion by 20302.

While contrast agents are often used to improve the quality of imaging used in normative diagnosis, these agents have no tissue specificity nor have any therapeutic action. Novara Therapeutics is set to deliver the world’s first bone-targeting contrast agent for early diagnosis and intervention of osteoporotic fractures and aims to reduce the burden of this condition on healthcare payers, providers and patients around the world.

Dr Arash Angadji, CEO of ORUK, said: “The creation of Novara Therapeutics is the result of over a decade of solid scientific research at the University of Brighton, and proudly backed by Orthopaedic Research UK, aiming to offer better treatment and diagnostic solutions for osteoporotic patients. We are delighted to join forces with Embryo Ventures to further develop this exciting technology and make it available for patients to enhance their quality of life.”

Embryo Ventures’ Chief Executive Dr Arash Moavenian commented: “We are delighted to be working with ORUK and building on truly pioneering technology to redefine the way bone fractures are diagnosed and treated. This venture represents an exciting and major step in accelerating the translation of this novel technology and executing our joint vision.”

Professor Matteo Santin, Director of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices, at University of Brighton added: “As one of the inventors of this technology I am delighted and excited to see it being driven by Novara Therapeutics towards its clinical use. The robust R&D so far conducted, together with its industrial sustainability and operator-friendly features, makes me confident of its future impact on the early resolution of osteoporosis fractures”.

Martin Gouldstone said: “As a Trustee of ORUK, I am delighted to see IP that ORUK has supported has the opportunity to be developed directly for the benefit of patients. The joint venture with Embryo Ventures represents a new operating model in this space and we are excited to see how this can accelerate the development into the patient setting.”

About Orthopaedic Research UK
Orthopaedic Research UK is a medical research charity funding high quality research and education into musculoskeletal science.

About Embryo Ventures
Embryo Ventures is an innovation and venture development partner to forward-thinking organisations and entrepreneurs.

Novara Therapeutics

1 International Osteoporosis Foundation (2020): Facts and statistics
2 Broken bones, broken lives: a roadmap to fragility fracture crisis in Europe