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CatSci Ltd Win Welsh Government SMART Capital Equipment Grant for Innovative Oligonucleotides Development

A strand of RNA.
Credit: iStock.
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CatSci Ltd are thrilled to announce that they have won a Welsh Government SMART Capital Equipment Fund grant to enhance their oligonucleotides capability and offer more and better R&D and manufacturing solutions to customers.

The grant will enable CatSci to invest in new cutting-edge equipment that will dramatically increase the rapid creation of a large pool of candidates of RNA/DNA sequences. This is critical for the identification of new therapies to address previously untreatable diseases.

Production of oligonucleotides is currently generally both slow and expensive, meaning the development of new sequences tends to therefore focus on producing small numbers of specific sequences only. These represent a high level of risk due to the high probability of failure. Through this grant, CatSci will develop a novel screening approach, which allows a very large pool of candidates to be screened against the drug target. Not only will this increase the chance of success and reduce the level of risk, but it will also save customers’ time, money, and resources. It will also decrease the impact on the environment as there will be significantly less waste in reducing the quantities of reagents and materials.

The SMART Flexible Innovation Support grant was rewarded to support companies in Wales to invest in innovation with the aim of improving people’s lives, growing the economy, and addressing the climate and nature emergencies.

The grant from the Welsh government will enable CatSci to create a multitude of highend jobs in Wales and further cement their position as a vanguard for life-changing RNA medicines to meet the unmet healthcare needs of the world.

Vaughan Gething, Economy Minister, said: “Innovation is the tool that has the potential to enrich our education, our economy, our health and wellbeing, and our environment. As I recently set out in my priorities for a stronger economy, I want to bolster Wales’s innovation and digital capabilities including in new and rapidly evolving technologies. We want to create and nurture a vibrant innovation culture for a stronger, fairer, greener Wales so I’m glad we have been able to support these projects, which I believe will drive transformational change.”

The new equipment will enhance CatSci’s state-of-the-art oligonucleotide laboratory, which opened in 2023. The function is led by their Director of New Modalities, Dr Nigel Richardson. Nigel holds decades of experience in the oligonucleotides space, having previously led GSK’s oligonucleotide therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy into the final stages of development and regulatory submission. CatSci’s 40+ years of collective experience combined with dedicated analytical support enable them to develop tailored solutions with speed and scientific integrity. They are committed to accelerating the development and manufacturing of life-changing RNA therapeutics, and the Welsh Government SMART grant is just the latest step in their evolution.