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Bristol HealthTech firm acquired for £623 million

Written by Hannah McGrath
22/08/2018

Ziylo, A HealthTech start-up founded by a graduate student at Bristol university has been acquired by pharmaceuticals giant Novo Nordisk for £623 million.

Harry Destecroix, 31, founded Ziylo to support the development of a new technology that works to create synthetic molecules which bind glucose to combat diabetes while he was studying for his PhD at the University of Bristol in 2014.

At the time he was working in the lab of professor Anthony Davis, who designed the synthetic molecules as a method of helping diabetics to regulate insulin levels in the blood.

Ziylo was formed as a spin-out company from Bristol’s Unit DX science incubator.

The sale of all shares in the company transfers to Novo Nordisk full rights to use the technology to develop glucose responsive insulins with the ultimate aim of producing ground-breaking treatments to help diabetics manage their condition.

In particular, NovoNordisk is hoping to develop a glucose responsive insulin that works to eliminate the risk of hypoglycaemia in patients, which has been identified as a key risk associated with existing insulin therapy.

Prior to the acquisition, a number of Ziylo’s research activities were spun out into a new company, Carbometrics, which will collaborate with Novo Nordisk to further develop non-therapeutic applications of the technology.

Dr Destecroix said the deal brings the hope of a truly groundbreaking treatment to diabetes patients.

“Novo Nordisk is the ideal company to maximise the potential of the Ziylo glucose binding molecules in glucose responsive insulins and diabetes applications,” he said.

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