€500k investment in life sciences firm will be catalyst for global growth

7 Oct 2008

A €500,000 investment in a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company will allow it to go to market with a technology to help global pharmaceutical firms manufacture drugs in anti-viral and anti-cancer therapeutic areas more cost-effectively.

Celtic Catalysts, which is headquartered at the NovaUCD tech transfer centre, has now secured €2.5m in investment from 4th Level Ventures, Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Business Expansion Scheme (BES) investors.

The latest investment from 4th Level Ventures and private investors will help the campus company close what it describes as “exciting, near-term opportunities.”

The campus company employs 17 people and focuses on the area of chiral synthesis, having developed a strong portfolio of intellectual property and a unique niche in the specialised area of P-chiral technology.

Celtic Catalysts was co-founded in 2000 by Professor Declan Gilheany and Dr Brian Kelly as a spin-out from UCD’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

“Due to further projected growth, the company will seek to raise additional capital to enable it to develop scale-up production facilities to manufacture bulk quantities of its products and to address additional, high-value opportunities,” said chief executive, Dr Brian Kelly.

Along with product sales, Celtic Catalysts has already signed several research alliance agreements with global pharmaceutical companies for use of its technology to solve problems which these firms encounter in the manufacture of their drugs.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years