IOTA NanoSolutions secures funds to develop ContraSol

A nanodispersion formation technology that enhances the performance of poorly soluble ingredients

IOTA NanoSolutions, a UK specialist formulation company spun out from Unilever in 2005, has completed a financing round to support the commercialisation of its proprietary nanodispersion formation technology, ContraSol.

New investor, QIB (UK), the UK subsidiary of Qatar Islamic Bank, joins Unilever Ventures, the European venture capital arm of Unilever, in this financing round.

The Liverpool-based firm says poor solubility of active ingredients can pose formulation constraints, impair the performance of product ingredients and restrict the wide use of commercial materials. ContraSol allows the transformation of poorly soluble organic active ingredients into dry solid formats (e.g. powders, tablets or granules) that rapidly form nanodispersions on contact with liquids. This can be achieved with hydrophobic actives in water or hydrophilic actives in hydrophobic liquids. The nanodispersions aid the delivery and enhance the performance of poorly soluble active ingredients.

IOTA NanoSolutions aims to exploit its technology and expertise in collaboration with multi-national companies in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors, among others.

Andrew Elphick, ceo of IOTA NanoSolutions, said ContraSol offers the potential for lifecycle management of existing products, progression of new chemical entities through r&d pipelines and to revive candidates that have been previously overlooked due to solubility issues.

Akbar Ahsan, head of Corporate Finance at QIB (UK), said: ‘Our involvement is driven by our investment thesis of backing highly regarded management teams and partnering with leading names. IOTA’s leading scientific team and Unilever Venture’s pivotal role in the company’s development and success makes this a unique opportunity for us.

‘In time we will work with IOTA to expand its research activities in Qatar through establishing a presence there and participating in the knowledge-based economy, which is being developed by Qatar Foundation and the QSTP.’

John Coombs md, Unilever Ventures, added ‘ContraSol has generated significant interest from multiple leading global players in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors and we remain confident that the technology and company will continue to excel in these fields.’