Two successful spin off companies from the University of Leeds are to join forces in a deal worth £900,000.
Skin care specialist Syntopix is to buy Leeds Skin, a commercial testing facility whose clients include major sector players such as Boots, L'Oreal and PZ Cussons.
Bradford-based Syntopix focuses on the discovery and development of drugs for the topical treatment of dermatological diseases. It was founded in 2003 by University of Leeds researchers Dr Jon Cove and Dr Anne Eady, leading experts in skin microbiology.
Leeds Skin, now based in Wetherby, evolved from what was the Skin Research Centre at the University of Leeds, and through its links with the University and the NHS, promotes collaboration between industry, scientists and clinicians dedicated to skin research.
Syntopix chief executive Dr Stephen Jones, said: "The acquisition of Leeds Skin is a pivotal transaction for Syntopix. We'll be able to do the trials in-house, it will mean we can conduct more sophisticated studies and it minimises the risk.
"The significant cell biology experience of Leeds Skin will complement our own microbiological expertise, aiding development of Syntopix products. A key attraction was Leeds Skin's world leading LabSkin technology, a unique human equivalent skin which we can use to model various properties associated with human skin.
"Together, we will have the capacity to run both clinical and laboratory studies to make rational choices of active compounds and confirm product claims. I am confident this will put the company in an extremely strong position to identify and develop products in-house to treat a variety of skin problems.
"Leeds Skin is a profitable company with an impressive client base and I am very excited about working with the team in this new phase of Syntopix's evolution."
Dr Jones added that with Syntopix as its parent company, Leeds Skin will have a great opportunity to expand. The group is not planning any more acquisitions, but will now focus on developing its products.
Shareholders will be asked to approve the deal at a general meeting on 23 May 2011.
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