Aurelia Bioscience, a preclinical contract research organisation that was among several new companies in the BioCity Nottingham incubator spawned by AstraZeneca’s decision to close its UK R&D site in Charnwood, Leicestershire, is now open for business.

Aurelia specialises in bioassay development, high-throughput compound screening, label-free phenotypic assay approaches and screening equipment/technology development.

The laboratory platform includes screening technologies such as FLIPRTM, EnvisionTM, EnspireTM and FMAT, alongside compound management and liquid handling capabilities.   

The company was set up by managing director Kevin Hart, who was head of scientific operations for AstraZeneca at Charnwood; business development director/chief scientific officer Gary Allenby, who was engaged in developing novel assay formats and automation platforms as well as evaluating and implementing new technologies for AZ; and science director Kathy Dodgson, who led the implementation of label-free cell-based screening at AstraZeneca.

The management team recently expanded to include Tony Flinn, former founder and chief executive officer of Onyx Scientific. Flinn will “complement the team with his extensive commercial and business development expertise”, Aurelia said.

Outsourcing opportunity

 “We are witnessing the growth of drug discovery outside large pharmaceutical companies as the sector re-balances itself from centralised in-house research to outsourcing,” Allenby commented.

“Our expertise will allow us to take advantage of these new challenges in both drug discovery and the bio-instrument technology development sector”.