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A Queen Mary University of London spinout has secured a licence agreement with a leading Chinese toothpaste manufacturer, which should generate sales of £2 million over the next five years.
BioMin Technologies Limited was founded in 2014 to commercialise the award-winning research conducted between Queen Mary and Imperial College London since 2008.
The bioactive glass material, which won the prestigious Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize in 2013, contains particles that can help to remineralise tooth surfaces and reduce early stages of sensitivity and tooth decay.
In 2016, BioMin met with Guangdong KanWan Cosmetics Co. Ltd, a major Chinese toothpaste manufacturer, as a result of a technology partnering mission between Science and Innovation Network (SIN) China and Innovation China UK.
This meeting led to the establishment of a manufacturing and distribution license agreement under which the bioactive glass, manufactured in the UK, will be exported to China for use in toothpaste formulations developed by KanWan.
KanWan, like many other BioMin trade partners, agreed to participate as a shareholder in the initial fundraising round to support the commercialisation of the technology, establish its distribution infrastructure, and to conduct further research.
Professor Robert Hill, one of the founders of BioMin, says: 'We are delighted to have secured this investment from one of the biggest toothpaste manufacturers in China, the country with the largest demand for toothpaste in the world.
'Our former PhD student, Xiaojing Chen, now Professor of Dental Materials at Central Southern University at Changsha, was a key member of our research team and has been instrumental in forging stronger links between Queen Mary and China. Working together with the BioMin business development team and Queen Mary Innovations has helped to secure this commercial success.'
Richard Whatley, CEO of BioMin Technologies, said: 'This partnership with Guangdong Kanwan Cosmetics Co. Ltd opens up enormous potential for our start-up enterprise. The support provided by ICUK and SIN has been central to establishing this Chinese licence partner for our innovative technology.'
Professor Xiaojing Chen, who completed her PhD at the Institute of Dentistry in 2015, said: 'It has been very rewarding to be part of a team which has taken a scientific research project to become a commercial reality over a relatively short period. It is clear that bioglass technology has tremendous potential to improve oral care.'
BioMin has also secured licensing deals with Group Pharmaceuticals Limited and Abbott Laboratories in India, as well as Dr Collins in the USA. All three companies sell BioMin toothpastes and are shareholders in BioMin.