Category Archives: Issue 3 September 17

Cancer Research UK and Biotecnol to trial new immuno-oncology treatment for advanced tumours

Cancer Research UK press release August 10th 2017


An experimental immuno-oncology treatment will move into early phase clinical trials for patients with advanced solid tumours, including lung cancers, under a collaboration agreement between Cancer Research UK and Biotecnol Limited (link is external).

“Without this collaboration it might have been years before this treatment reached patients so we‘re pleased to work with Biotecnol to elevate their novel drug development platform.” – Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK will support the early clinical development of the company’s promising first-in-class Fdrug called Tb535H.

The drug is the first to emerge from Biotecnol’s novel antibody development platform, Trisoma®. It is directed against the 5T4/WAIF1 tumour antigen, a protein found on many different solid tumours and is thought to contribute to the spread of cancer cells.

Tb535H recruits the patient’s T-cells –killer cells of the immune-system – and directs them to attack tumours. This highly targeted approach uses the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.

The WAIF1 antigen was discovered by scientists at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute. It could be a valuable target in many different cancer types, but the initial focus in this trial will be to treat cancers with high unmet-need.  This includes thoracic cancers such as mesothelioma, small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), for which survival remains very low, and renal cell carcinoma.

Under the agreement, Biotecnol and Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development will collaborate to take forward Tb535H through a Biotecnol-sponsored first-in-man Phase I clinical trial, using Cancer Research UK’s drug development expertise in return for shareholdings in Biotecnol.

Pedro de Noronha Pissarra, chief executive officer of Biotecnol said: “We’re very proud to work with Cancer Research UK on the development of advanced clinical trial approaches in this competitive and highly promising field of immuno-oncology.

The collaboration is important for Biotecnol’s strategy of working with top cancer institutions in the immune-oncology field which will accelerate the development of cutting-edge therapeutic approaches to fight cancer.”

Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s director of drug development, said: “It’s hugely exciting to be able to accelerate the development of a drug that could change outcomes for patients with many different types of cancer.

In particular we urgently need new ways to improve treatment for lung cancer, which causes more than one in five of all cancer deaths in the UK.”

Swinging times at York

double-mouse-swingThe team at York (especially the mice) are apparently delighted with their newly delivered Mouse Swings from Datesand. These brilliant little enrichment devices, designed by Lisa at CRUK Manchester as her submission to this year’s Janet Wood Innovation Awards, are almost literally hot off the press and seem to have been really well received on delivery. The team at York commented  “ These swings appeared to go down very well, the mice loved them, especially with the tubes in, and the mice are swinging from both ends. Nice to have something different and innovative”

If you’d like samples or to place your first order (discounted until the end of this month!) just give us a call on 0800 161 5831 or e-mail to and the team will be delighted to help.

Necessity – the mother of invention

perspex-mouse-penSometimes things just have a habit of working out rather well, especially if you’ve got the will – and a rather gifted design team in the building.

In early August (the 8th) we had a call from Amy at Transpharmation, part of the the Royal Veterinary College (BSU), a very long-standing client organisation over in Hatfield, North Mimms. Amy and team were looking to source a special chamber, suitable for housing mice and rats for use in the Hargreaves Test into Alzheimer’s. We soon realised we didn’t have anything exactly suitable, so after a more detailed discussion with colleagues at Transpharmation, Mark, our design Guru, got to work to create a device that would fit the bill.  The researchers needed a red translucent chamber in perspex to hold up to eight mice. Ideally it would have doors on the top but no base. Simple! Only problem? They needed it yesterday (in ten days time which, in product realisation terms, comes to the same thing!)

Mark quickly sent them a hand drawn sketch of a suitable design. The clients liked the design but they also needed a version for Rats with 4 compartments. Mark straight away suggested a similar system to Datesand’s Mini-Thermacage where the dividers are removable, and eight mice-sized chambers automatically become four larger rat-sized enclosures. This went down well – now it was just a question of actually manufacturing the item! Datesand received the purchase order from Transpharmation on August 9th and we were able to deliver the finished product to the client on the 17th (we think this may be some kind of a record!)

Their e-mail back to Mark and Ryan (their account manager at Datesand) said it all.

“Hi Mark and Ryan, The chambers have arrived and we cannot tell you how pleased we are with them. Thank you so much.  We will happily write a little blog about this. Just give us a bit of time as we are a little busy but, we will get to it. We are thinking we would like another piece of equipment made to go with the chambers you have built but we will be in touch about this. 

Thanks again so much.” 

Exhibitions & Evevnts

See us at AALAS October 15 -19 2017                                      November  28-30 2017











Datesand mini-expo rolls north of the border

datesand-mini-expoOn a typically summery?? Friday in August we held a mini-expo/table top exhibition at one of our key clients’, Charles River’s, impressive UK facilities.  I was welcomed on site and set up in one of their meeting rooms with doughnuts at the ready and waited for their team to come over.  We were really pleased to welcome around 25 visitors from most of the main units on site along with members of the purchasing team and management.

I was on site for a couple of hours and it was great to catch up with familiar faces and also meet some new ones.  The enthusiasm of their staff was infectious and, despite the rain, it was a really bright afternoon!  Many thanks to Jenna Robertson and Colin Reed for making the event happen.

Pedal Power

pedal-powerAs part of their ongoing fitness campaignery, the team at Datesand (or at least some of them!) have taken to lunch-time sorties on the Datesand bikes all around our little corner of East Manchester. We thought this was a great photo of Juliana and Amanda all kitted out and ready to go. Actually, team members are increasingly involved in a whole host of fitness pursuits which we’ll update you on as they progress. We may take the micky at times but actually it’s all rather impressive and makes lots of sense for team members who have to be glued to their desks and  computers for most of their waking hours!











Just for fun:

Which is the only planet in our solar system that rotates clockwise?

Answer: Venus



WIN £20 Love2Shop voucher

Answer this question

Which animal tastes with its feet?

The winner will be chosen from the winning entries
Complete the form below to enter


This Competition is now closed.

The Answer is: Butterfly

The winner of this months prize is Ian Purvis at University of Cambridge


Mini-Bio Issue 3


Nicky Windows

Senior Business Manager

I’ve been with Datesand since October 2008; joining the company to work with Nilgun as part of the field sales team.  My role as Business Manager progressed to Senior Business Manager and I now head up the external sales function in the business.  Officially my “patch” is Northern UK, Ireland and Rest of the World, but I occasionally foray into the South to support Nilgun and Ryan when necessary.  My role has taken me to far flung places such as Hell (no really, it’s in Norway), Taiwan, Australia, Kuala Lumpur and the USA as well as all over the UK where I’ve learnt to use the local dialect to get the perfect cup of tea wherever I go.

I’ve been in the industry since 2002, when I joined B&K as PATS Manager (contract technician recruitment) and then Sales Manager until I left in 2007.  I then joined Arrowmight as Sales Manager and was there for 15 months until the opportunity at Datesand came about – having pestered Jonathon at various events for years, it was a no brainer to make the move when the opportunity arose!

Having graduated from Manchester University with a BSc (Hons) in Geochemistry and no idea what I wanted to do, I started my working life at SRG recruiting scientists for companies such as AstraZeneca and GSK.  I quickly worked out straight forward recruitment wasn’t for me but I stuck at it for just over 3 years until family connections to our industry threw up an interesting opportunity at B&K.

I grew up in Glasgow (where I was a fairly wayward teenager) with my mum and brother who both now live in Chorlton.  Mike manages Jonathon’s bar Dulcimer these days and he and I like the odd pint together.

Just over a year ago, when heavily pregnant, we moved to Crosby near Liverpool where I now live with my husband Matt and 15 month old daughter Iona who take up most of my time these days.  I help run a local playgroup on a Monday and am well known amongst the mums of Crosby as a bargain hunter and “fixer” (whatever that means?!).  Matt and I enjoy eating out (when we can get a babysitter) and I try to get out running a bit to counteract the eating!  Oh, and I very much like the odd G&T.

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