NetScientific is an IP commercialisation company that identifies, develops and commercialises research and technologies originating from leading universities, teaching hospitals and research institutes globally, but particularly in the United Kingdom and United States.
The Company’s core strategy is to fund and develop translational technologies that offer transformative benefits to peoples’ lives and society through improving the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of chronic disease. The Directors believe that reducing the cost of monitoring and treating chronic disease has become one of the key challenges to the global healthcare sector. As the incremental effectiveness of new therapeutic treatments reduces, development costs increase. Consequently, the Directors believe the Group's five areas of focus represent highly attractive growth markets with significant unmet medical need for technological development, and in which the Company’s management has a significant amount of experience, expertise and strong existing networks. The Directors also believe that focusing on these areas will provide the Company with a competitive advantage over other more generalised IP commercialisation companies, enabling it to create value for shareholders.
The Company’s investment model identifies late-stage translational research projects developing cutting-edge technologies in these chronic disease focus areas. The Company then builds on accredited research, the early stages of which have already been funded by academic institutions, governments and science foundations. The Company’s investments typically require 18 to 36 months of further development and funding to take the projects to the point of commercialisation. The Company aims to retain a controlling stake in its Spin-offs until key value inflection points have been reached.
The Company’s current Portfolio has been sourced from a variety of leading international universities, teaching hospitals and research institutes in the United Kingdom and the United States, including Leeds University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Michigan and Drexel University.
NetScientific invests in the following high growth sectors:
- Cardiovascular – Cardiovascular disease, including chronic heart disease, heart attack and stroke, is the number one chronic disease category in the world, accounting for an estimated 30 per cent. of deaths per year worldwide.
- Liver – Chronic liver diseases include cirrhosis, fibrosis, chronic hepatitis infection and hepatocellular carcinoma. Together they constituted the twelfth most common cause of death in US adults in 2011, with many more cases of liver disease under-diagnosed. Chronic liver disease is also becoming increasingly prevalent due to changes in diet and the growth of chronic hepatitis infections.
- Cancer – Cancer is the leading global killer, accounting for 13 per cent. of deaths worldwide in 2008.
- Metabolic – Chronic metabolic diseases, including metabolic syndrome, are thought to affect as much as one-third of the US adult population.
- Digital Health – Digital health is an especially important and transformative area of opportunity for chronic disease management. Digital health encompasses the use of advanced, emerging data capture, transfer, analysis and reporting to enable remote monitoring of patients and efficient management by physicians and healthcare professionals.
The Company invests in early-stage research and technologies that are generally regarded as higher risk than other forms of investment. The Company is committed to managing the risk inherent within its investment model, as well as minimising it, to the extent possible. First and foremost, the Company principally invests in the “applied” phase of research projects, meaning that such projects have generally received significant prior investment from universities, foundations and governments and have reached a stage where there are well-defined goals and processes to achieving IP and patent generation, proof of concept, market testing and regulatory approvals, all of which significantly de-risk a project when achieved.
The Group was formed in 2006 by entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer, Farad Azima, to fund and commercialise industry-driven biomedical and clean technology research at leading international science institutions. During 2007, the Group shifted its focus to identifying and investing in research programmes on its own. This shift in focus centred on building businesses around already successful research programmes and concentrating on investment opportunities in the United States, where a collaborative risk-sharing approach was developed.
The Group’s business model was further refined following its first co-investment in 2010 with another early-stage investor, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, in QLIDA Diagnostics, Inc., and the formation of Vortex BioSciences, Inc. and Glycotest, Inc. in 2012.
The Group’s UK-based investments have followed a similar pattern of development to those in the United States, but have focused both on clean technology opportunities (MOF Technologies Limited and high-efficiency fuel cells), as well as novel biomedical sensors (RoboScientific, Inc.) and a non-invasive blood glucose sensor.