eXroid Recieves Royal Recognition As One of the Country’s Top Innovative Businesses

Congratulations to Discovery Park-based eXroid Technology, one of the first recipients of The King’s Award for Innovation for its use of electrotherapy technology.

The company has developed a successful medical device and clinical service, with its equipment manufactured in the UK, and now has an eye on global expansion from its headquarters at the Sandwich-based science and business park.


This prestigious accolade has been awarded to eXroid for its work in developing a highly safe and effective, surgery free treatment for haemorrhoid sufferers, meaning they are no longer faced with a choice of treatment options that are known to be extremely painful and carry risks of complications, to become symptom free.

Commenting on winning the award, Michael Wilshaw, Managing Director of eXroid, said: “This accolade represents a milestone for the company as we reach for new heights and strive for better: for our patients, for our partners and for future sufferers.”


The company is one of 148 companies across the UK to be recognised for their contribution to international trade, innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity (through social mobility).

Mayer Schreiber, Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Park, said: “It is great to see eXroid get the Royal recognition that it rightly deserves, and I’m sure the award will help it take it to the new international markets.”

Financial Director Boomerangs Back to Kent

Following 25 years overseas working for multinational companies and Big 4 accounting firms, Graham Cook has returned to Kent to take up the position of Finance Director at Discovery Park.

Graham grew up in Canterbury but after working in London for several years, he moved to Australia where he spent 21 years in various senior roles at Ernst & Young, now EYAristocratic Leisure Ltd, an Australian listed global gaming and technology company; and Fuji Xerox Australia which is part of the FujiFilm Global Group. Graham, along with his wife and teenage daughter, moved to Auckland in 2018 to become the Chief Financial Officer and Director for FUJIFILM Business Innovation New Zealand.


Commenting on his appointment at the science and innovation park, Graham said: “The way Discovery Park has grown in recent years and is continuing to further invest is impressive, not only bringing in local life science companies and other businesses but also attracting talent from London and beyond.

“The organisation’s values align with my own – focused on people and a community spirit, there is an inspirational values-based leadership, a focus on customer quality and a mindset of continuous improvement and consideration for the environment. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to the role, and teaming up with, supporting and challenging the senior leadership team to help Discovery Park meet its strategic goals.”


Mayer Schreiber, CEO of Discovery Park, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to attract someone with such extensive experience and I’m looking forward to working with Graham as we continue to work towards our ambition of becoming a world-leading science park in the next five years. Discovery Park is all about collaboration and learning from each other – something our tenants will testify to – so I can’t wait to see what we can gain from Graham’s insight .”

Graham also spent 16 years volunteering for the State Emergency Service in Australia, including as an Emergency Team Leader and Deputy Controller, followed by two years volunteering for the New Zealand Civil Defence (First Responders).


He and his family are now living in his childhood home in Canterbury, a short commute from Sandwich. Graham explained: “When the pandemic hit, New Zealand had extremely tight restrictions and it became very difficult, if not impossible, to visit family – including my wife’s elderly parents. We still had family in the UK so it seemed like a good time to return when we were able to. Seeking a role in London was an option but there was no need – Discovery Park has everything I was looking for.”

Discovery Park Ventures Grows Portfolio with Addition of Two New Investments

Discovery Park Ventures (DPV), the early stage life  sciences fund associated with Discovery Park, has made investments in two high-potential businesses, Ignota Labs and Oxford Medical Products. The funding, which  takes the number of companies in its portfolio to six, makes a significant contribution to the growth trajectory of both firms as they work towards their next milestones.  Established in 2022, DPV invests in novel and disruptive technology usually related to  Discovery Park’s focus areasand has plans to expand to up to £25m.

Ignota Labs is helping drug developers navigate the toxicity landscape of drug  discovery with state-of-the-art scalable toxicity screening tools for the pharma and biotech industry. It provides insights across a range of toxicity problems, enabling  improved drug design optimisation from the start of the discovery process. The  company believes that proactive use of its technology has the potential to save the  industry significant amounts of time and billions of pounds each year via reduced  failure risk and creation of improved drug candidates. Also backed by Sustainable Ventures,  Ignota Labs has completed its first strategic partnership and is now raising a  £1.5m seed round.


Oxford Medical Products, led by CEO Dr Camilla Easter, has developed the novel weight-loss product Sirona. Excessive weight increases the risk of poor health and is estimated to cost the global economy over $2tn every year. Based on a proprietary  hydrogel and now in clinical trials, Sirona comprises a self-expanding pill which  occupies physical space in the stomach, reducing hunger and leading to significant  weight loss in a non-invasive way. In addition to Discovery Park Ventures, Oxford  Medical Products is backed by Ada Ventures, Nesta VC, Selvedge Venture and OION.

Sam Windsor, CEO of Ignota Labs, said, ‘We are delighted to be backed by Discovery  Park Ventures. Its team’s extensive experience of company building, business  development and fundraising will be invaluable to Ignota Labs as we create  partnerships around our toxicity screening technology and build our offering.’

Dr Camilla Easter, CEO of Oxford Medical Products, said, ‘Discovery Park Ventures  is a very welcome addition to our investor base. With Sirona in clinical trials this is an  exciting stage of development for Oxford Medical Products and we look forward to  working with the DPV team as we progress towards the market.’

Mayer Schreiber, Chairman of Discovery Park Ventures, said, ‘Although very different  businesses, Discovery Park Ventures is excited by the significant growth potential of  both Ignota Labs and Oxford Medical Products. We’re pleased to welcome them to the  DPV portfolio and network and look forward to helping them succeed.

New Lab Complex at Discovery Park Attracting Tenants Ahead of Opening

Our new flexible laboratory facility is already filling up, with a healthy pipeline of interest from science companies looking to move in before the space is formally opened later in the summer.


Those currently in advanced discussions about taking space include intraocular lens implant specialists VisusNano; neurological therapy providers Optceutics, and life science consultancy firm Martin Warman.


A chronic shortage of suitable accommodation is severely restricting the UK’s life sciences industry, (Life Sciences 2030 report (bidwells.co.uk), curtailing both start-ups and scale-ups; however the new facility at Discovery Park’s 220 acre science and technology campus, which will officially be opened in June, offers spaces from 250 sq ft to 3,000 sq ft, allowing companies to scale up as required without the need to relocate as they expand.


Dr Joanna Gould, Chief Executive Officer, VisusNano, whose intraocular lens implant is set to revolutionise cataract surgery in humans and animals, said: “At a time when life sciences companies are struggling to find suitable lab space, having access to this new facility at Discovery Park has allowed VisusNano to scale up our operations, while still remaining on the site where we were already established.”


The new labs, which have been given a bespoke fit-up by Discovery Park’s on-site engineering team, come with a range of business support, including an on-site Barclay’s Eagle Lab providing a full package of growth services, including mentoring, investor readiness programmes and access to investors, including Discovery Park’s own seed fund – Discovery Park Ventures


The £6m capital project has been supported through the Government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’, with £2.75m of funding through South East LEP and Kent & Medway Economic Partnership, and there has been support too from Kent County Council.


Mayer Schreiber, CEO, Discovery Park, said: “The current critical shortage of R&D facilities is inflicting severe damage on the UK’s hopes of being a life sciences superpower. Without lab space, start-ups and university spin-outs are being denied any chance of developing their concepts beyond the early stages.


“If there is no pipeline of discovery, the science sector will stagnate and there will be no push towards manufacturing, which this country needs for future economic development.


“Discovery Park has been able to provide a new solution. The highly-priced ‘Golden Triangle’ is over-congested and companies can find it difficult to locate . At Discovery Park, we are able to offer flexible and affordable space which allows companies to grow in line with their business needs. And we’re already seeing a demand from interesting companies attracted by a viable alternative and our existing tenant base with ambitious growth aspirations”


Sarah Dance, Chair of South East LEP, said: “The new incubator space is an excellent example of a project that identified a clear business need, in this case high-quality laboratories and office space.


“Thanks to funding from Discovery Park and the South East LEP, it has been possible to develop an environment that nurtures the growth of high-value businesses, and create new jobs which will help us to build a strong and sustainable economy.”


Discovery Park has been identified by the Government as a Life Sciences Opportunity Zone, with established links to academia and a thriving scientific community.


Transport links and affordable housing have both been identified as factors influencing decision-making by employees working in the sector and at one hour by train from London’s bio-tech hub at St Pancras and with an average house price in Thanet of £353,500 (Zoopla), Discovery Park offers access to both, as well as an abundance of lifestyle advantages including good schools, leisure facilities, beaches and open countryside.


It is estimated that the new facility will create or safeguard up to 75 jobs.

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