by Bruce McMullum for the Madeleine McCann Research Group, 4 July 2017
Today brings news that Brian Kennedy, the wealthy Cheshire businessman and Head of the McCanns’ private investigation team which has (allegedly) been searching for Madeleine , has invested around £1 million in a new biotech venture, jointly with Scottish entrepreneur and owner of the Stagecoach company, Sir Brian Souter.
It will be of interest mainly to a fairly small group of Madeleine McCann researchers who have always suspected that Madeleine’s death was somehow related to work in the fields of bio-tech, or bio-engineering, gene therapy, cloning and stem cell research – all quite controversial but also very profitable lines of business (see my separate article on the ‘Bioengineeing Hyppthesis’.
Some thought that Madeleine might have been the result of some genetic experiment, connected with her having been created via in vitro fertilisition (UVF) treatment at an apparently ground-breaking Dutch hospital, perhaps ‘cloned’ in some way. An article in a short-lived Portuguese newspaper,Tal e Qual, claimed to have received information from inside the PJ that Gerry McCann was not Madeleine’s biological father.
All of this was sheer speculation.
However, some noted the following:
1 One of the first people to offer large rewards for anybody finding Madeleine was by Sir Richard Branson, also a major investor in various bio-tech projects
2 Two doctors who went on holiday the exact same week as the McCanns and their friends, Dr Paul Weinberger and Dr Julian Totman, both had very close links with the secretive government biological warfare establishment at Porton Down, near Salisbury, where Dr Totman has a successful GP practice, and
3 Another person of interest on the same holiday was Mr Philip Edmonds, a Director of the world’s largest steel empire, Stemcor, a company which also has interests in the biotech field.
Dr Weinberger is discussed further in a thread on Jill Havern’s forum, the Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann, here:
Philip Edmonds is also discussed on these two threads:
Richard Branson is discussed here:
HERE, THEN, ARE THE THREE ARTICLES FROM TODAY:
BUSINESS heavyweights Brian Kennedy and Sir Brian Souter have thrown their support behind a Borders-based drug firm that aims to make chemotherapy four times more effective than current treatments.
The tycoons have participated in a £1.8 million funding round at Ryboquin ahead of a planned acquisition of current partner Nanogenic Solutions, which has developed a method for “revolutionising” the treatment of diseases at a genetic level.
Mr Kennedy, who teamed up with Graeme Souness in an ultimately failed attempt to acquire Rangers in 2012, has also joined the board of the Ryboquin.
The Selkirk-based company’s executive chairman Paul Murray said the backing of Mr Kennedy and Sir Brian was “testimony to the potential of Ryboquin”.
The group’s chief executive officer Alan Walker added: “Mr Kennedy rose from fairly modest circumstances to a personal wealth of many hundreds of millions through his business acumen. He’s successful, he’s shrewd and he is a nice guy who is easy to work with. He’s already brought a new dimension of big business to what is still quite a small company.”
Mr Kennedy said: “I am delighted to be part of Ryboquin and to be working with the team that could make great progress in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.”
Spun out of Edinburgh-based medicine developer Ectopharma in 2013, Ryboquin is focused on commercialising patented intellectual property in the area of delivering gene therapy, primarily to cancer patients.
Going forward, he said the business would continue to develop its own products, but had also agreed in principle to acquire Nanogenics.
Ryboquin currently licenses Nanogenics’ gene therapy delivery system LipTide, which was initially developed by University College London.
He said there was no timetable for the acquisition but that a seven-figure investment would likely be required in the future.
“The acquisition is agreed but not yet actioned so at some point we will require further funding. The implication is that it is good to have shareholders who have a history of wealth,” he said.
Mr Walker added that LipTide gave the business a potential revenue stream.
“To be quite frank, it’s been tough trying to raise money through traditional sources,” he said. “We don’t have venture capital money, which is why we place the emphasis on high net worth individuals. But if we can make LipTide a commercial success we can become cash flow positive and the need for equity funding goes down, if not goes away.”
The current £1.8m round, led by existing backers, business angel group TRI Capital and Scottish Investment Bank, will be used to accelerate product development and finance corporate expansion.
Mr Walker said clinical trials of its Ryboquin ECP-102 product, currently being developed with the University of Strathclyde, will take place in 2019, with Manchester’s Christie hospital the likely venue.
Ryboquin ECP-102 aims to radically improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy, by utilising LipTide, a microscopic particle which delivers RNA (Ribonucleic acid) to affected cells. RNA is one of four major macromolecules, along with DNA, which are essential for all known forms of life.
“When the human genome was cracked, we thought we had the solution to all these genetic diseases, but you couldn’t deliver the genetic material to the right place and only the right place, so this great promise was not realised,” said Mr Thomson. “Nanogenics’ product solves that problem and actually delivers the genetic material.”
Currently, there are believed to be some 8,000 diseases caused by mutations in genes, from cystic fibrosis to cancers. And developing a drug delivery system that can treat such diseases on a targeted cellular level has become one of the biggest pursuits in global biotechnology.
"This is what genetic medicine has been waiting for all these years; if you can affect specific genes and change [a patient’s] genetic make-up, you’re looking at a revolutionary treatment”.
Mr Walker said the company was in discussions with global pharmaceutical companies to promote LipTide. He has recently returned from a trade show in California where he held meetings with 36 potential partners.
Stagecoach tycoon Sir Brian Souter has backed a £1.8 million fundraising by a Borders-based gene therapy specialist.
The cash injection for Selkirk-headquartered Ryboquin also brought in funding from new investor Brian Kennedy and existing shareholders including the Scottish Investment Bank – the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise – and Borders business angel network Tri Cap.
The move has seen Kennedy join the board of Ryboquin, which was founded in 2013 and focuses on commercialising patented intellectual property in the area of delivering gene therapy, primarily in the field of human cancer medicine.
“I am delighted to be part of Ryboquin and to be working with the team that could make great progress in the treatment of cancer and other diseases,” said Kennedy.
The firm said it would use the fresh funding for corporate expansion and to boost its scientific development. Executive chairman Paul Murray said: “The support from existing shareholders and the investment by Brian Kennedy and Sir Brian Souter, two esteemed leaders and hugely successful businessmen, is testimony to the potential of Ryboquin and to the work we are undertaking in the field of cancer gene therapy drug development.”
Ryboquin raises £1.8m for drug development in gene therapy
This latest funding round attracts two prominent new investors; Brian Kennedy and Sir Brian Souter.
Ryboquin Limited, a Scottish Borders based pharmaceutical company, announces that it has closed a £1.8m equity fund raising to accelerate product development in gene therapy.
In addition to support from existing shareholders, including Borders business angel group, TRI Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank (the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise), funding has also been provided by Brian Kennedy, the highly successful Scottish entrepreneur and Sir Brian Souter, the founder and Chairman of Stagecoach. Brian Kennedy will also join the Board.
Founded in 2013, Ryboquin is a privately held, pharmaceutical company focused on commercialising patented intellectual property in the area of delivering gene therapy primarily in the field of human cancer medicine. Ryboquin is in partnership with Nanogenics to promote the targeted nucleic acid delivery system LipTide.
The funds being raised will be used to further scientific development as well as providing funding for corporate expansion.
Paul Murray, Executive Chairman, Ryboquin, says:
“The support from existing shareholders and the investment by Brian Kennedy and Sir Brian Souter, two esteemed leaders and hugely successful businessmen, is testimony to the potential of Ryboquin and to the work we are undertaking in the field of cancer gene therapy drug development.
We also welcome Brian Kennedy to the Board and look forward to his contribution as we seek to grow the business both organically and by acquisition.”
Brian Kennedy says:
“I am delighted to be part of Ryboquin and to be working with the team that could make great progress in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.”
Also in: https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-herald/20170704/282239485649731