LightOx win £1.1 million Biomedical Catalyst grant to develop oral cancer drug

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Newcastle based LightOx announces today that it has been awarded a £1.1m project grant from Innovate UK, for the development of its light activated drug LXD191 to treat oral cancer patients. LightOx will work with the clinical team at the Liverpool Head and Neck Centre, University of Liverpool – Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Working with the Liverpool team LightOx will finalise the drug formulation and clinical trial plans in order to then bring the drug to patients. The company was awarded the grant to formulate and manufacture their leading drug compound LXD191 to be used to treat oral cancer patients and pre-cancerous lesions that are detected in clinic. The LightOx team will work closely with partners to deliver a “chair-side” treatment for patients suffering from early-stage cancers. The drug which is currently the first of its kind to be developed for oral cancer is applied topically to the cancerous cells and is activated using a specific light source to kill the cancerous cells in the mouth. The treatment provides a minimally invasive alternative to surgery which currently remains the only other available option for patients, and often results in a reduced quality…

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Salvalco announce latest collaboration with P&G’s Native brand

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Salvalco is delighted to announce their latest collaboration with Proctor & Gamble’s personal care brand Native. Powered by the inert gas propelled Eco-Valve, the brand’s new two-in-one deodorant and body spray officially launched on 13th December 2022 in the USA and is now available instore and online at major retailers including Walgreens, Kroger, Walmart and Target. Native has long been known for its natural deodorant, skin, body and hair care products, but this new launch is the brand’s first venture into spray deodorant. An opportunity made possible through Eco-Valve technology which replaces the need for hydrocarbon propellants with inert gas propellants such as Nitrogen.  Thus, giving sustainable brands who want to add the aerosol packaging format to their ranges a new environmentally friendly option – with no compromise on performance and spray quality. Growing demand from consumers was one of the reasons influencing Native’s move into aerosols. With the new spray also staying true to the brand’s commitment to simple and effective formulations – focusing on clean ingredients and natural propellant. With the removal of butane through Eco-Valve also enhancing the Native brand’s spray and scent quality too. Aptly described as one of life’s ‘great things powered by air’ Native…

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EMG Solicitors celebrate opening of fourth office in Darlington alongside growing COP team

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Hot on the heels of the opening of their Penrith office only five months ago in September 2022, EMG Solicitors are expanding further with a brand-new division in Darlington. This is supported by a growing Court of Protection (COP) offering, making EMG the largest independent team in the North East with 36 practitioners. Specialising in court of protection (both in Health & Welfare and Property & Accommodation), wills, trusts and probate, family, employment, residential conveyancing and commercial property services, the Darlington branch is a welcome addition to their existing Newcastle, Durham and Penrith offices. Demonstrating the strength of the brand’s growing reputation in the legal sector. Officially opened in January 2023, the Darlington office will be led by Court of Protection Director, Sarah Jackson who also joined the business at the start of this year. Law Society accredited, she brings with her over 13 years’ experience in Health & Welfare COP work – a specialism that looks after the best interest decisions of clients in areas including accommodation, care and support. The team of 5 along with Sarah join the existing COP Health & Welfare team to support the businesses North East client base. Sarah Jackson, Court of Protection Director,…

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EMG Solicitors celebrate opening of third office in Cumbria to support growth

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A fast growing, North-East firm of solicitors is celebrating the opening of their third office in Penrith, Cumbria. EMG Solicitors specialises in court of protection, wills, trusts and probate, family, employment, residential conveyancing and commercial property services as they continue to build a strong reputation in the legal sector. The new office which officially opened last week (on 21st Sep 2022) will support EMG Solicitors’ continued growth which has seen revenue increase in the last year by approximately 28% from £3.4 million to £4.3 million. Total headcount has also grown in 12 months with a further 23 staff members, taking the total number of employees to 103.  The opening of the new branch is testament to their ongoing growth and becomes a welcome addition to their existing Durham and Newcastle divisions. The Penrith office will be led by Director and Wills, Trusts & Probate solicitor Samantha Edward where their full range of legal services will be available.   Joining Samantha will also be an experienced team of property and family lawyers. Emma Gaudern, Managing Director of EMG Solicitors said: “The opening of the Penrith office marks an incredibly exciting time for EMG Solicitors as we continue to grow and expand. I’m…

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Continued growth for the Metnor Group

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Consolidated accounts released today by the Metnor Group show continued growth and a significant bounce-back from the COVID pandemic.  With turnover for the Group reaching £81 million in 2021.   Based in Newcastle, the Metnor Group comprises three main trading divisions which operate in the construction, mechanical and electrical services and pressure testing sectors. Each division is a specialist in its own field and this individual expertise combined with the strength of the Group’s resources enables the company to deliver first class products and services to their customers and clients.   The Group achieved turnover of £81 million, compared to £68 million in 2020 with gross profit margins improving from 5.0% to 9.9%.  The cost-saving initiatives introduced in 2020 having had a positive impact for the business with workforce numbers being maintained throughout the period.   The Group’s focus on cash management has continued throughout and whilst some unwinding of the 2020 year-end balance of £7.8 million has occurred, the 2021 consolidated cash balance was £4.2 million.   A number of contract wins for both 2022 and 2023, also further support the Metnor Group’s future ambitions.     Chris Cant, CEO of the Metnor Group said:    “Despite a challenging…

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WilliamsAli supports The Lakes Distillery fundraise to aid future growth

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North East specialist Corporate Finance boutique, WilliamsAli is pleased to announce that it has supported The Lakes Distillery in securing funding from specialist lender, Beechbrook Capital. Nestled on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake, near Keswick, in The Lake District, The Lakes Distillery creates an exceptional collection of spirits and attracts over 30,000 visitors to their whisky distillery each year. The funding comes at a time when the company is increasing its production of single malt whisky and is beginning to export the brand to major whisky markets such as USA, France, and Japan. In September 2019, the brand unveiled The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.1, their first widely available single malt whisky in what has become an internationally award-winning series showcasing their sherry-led signature style.  Earlier this year, The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.4 was awarded the World’s Best Single Malt at the prestigious 2022 World Whisky Awards. Twice named ‘one of eight distilleries to visit before you die’ by the World Whisky Day campaign, their visitor centre, bistro, and distillery tour has held Visit England’s Gold accolade since 2018 and was voted the Icons of Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year 2019 by Whisky magazine. Beechbrook Capital is a specialist lender providing loans…

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Record growth and new wins for Metnor Construction as it celebrates 20th anniversary

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Metnor Construction, part of the Newcastle based Metnor Group, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a record number of new wins including a £17million project with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Established in May 2002, the division operates primarily in the PRS (private residential sector), care home, hotels and leisure, data centres and retail sectors. Metnor Construction’s activities as Principal Contractor cover traditional contracting, design and build and partnering. The company which employs 60 people, is based at Metnor House in Killingworth, Newcastle upon Tyne. With expertise to carry out multiple large scale projects, typical contract values for the business  range from £1m to £50m. And despite the challenges of the pandemic, turnover for Metnor Construction is forecast to reach £90 million in 2022. Operating across the UK, recently completed and current works for the business include two major private residential schemes at Market Quarter in Rugby, and another in Warrington, a healthcare centre in Kettering, alongside a number of student accommodation contracts. And now the firm is celebrating its anniversary with a prestigious new local client win. After a competitive tender, they are delighted to have been awarded the Principal Contractor role at the new NHS training centre at Cramlington Hospital.  The…

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WilliamsAli boosts team with Corporate Finance Director appointment

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WilliamsAli, the North East’s specialist M&A boutique, has announced the appointment of Simon Hewitson as Corporate Finance Director. With their fresh and independent approach to the corporate finance sector, WilliamsAli is well known for providing its own unique brand of financial advice to business owners, companies, and entrepreneurs throughout the region. Simon Hewitson, who is a chartered accountant, has specialised in corporate finance work for over 12 years. He has advised the owners and directors of a wide range of private and listed companies in the North East operating in a variety of different sectors on sale, acquisition, debt, and private equity activity. Simon has spent his entire career in the North East, initially working in practice before moving to an asset based lending role at Five Arrows Commercial Finance. He then moved into industry as Finance Director for Mill North East, having previously advised them on their management buyout from Inchcape plc.  Simon was appointed to strengthen the management team and advise on all corporate finance activity leading to the ultimate sale of the business to Stoneacre Motor Group. The appointment will enhance WilliamsAli’s corporate finance capabilities in the North East as it looks to grow its team after…

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Alice Rowen Hall and husband Andrew set sights on growth with Rowen Homes

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Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur, Alice Rowen Hall is no stranger to building and scaling successful businesses.  Having in eight years gone from selling clothes out of her living room to generating sales in excess of £25 million for former business Pink Boutique. Alice, Andrew and the team are now witnessing similar success with their latest venture Rowen Homes, which in its first 18 months, has achieved top line sales of approximately £6.5 million. A luxury online home store, the business curates and sells next level, glam interiors. Part of the Rowen Group, the business was founded during the pandemic in Aug 2020, alongside husband Andrew and is a real labour of love, driven by the duo’s creative side and passion for all things interiors. The group which initially comprised of three ventures including AllergyBox, Low Kal and Rowen Homes, has now streamlined to focus solely on the latter. This is owing to the significant growth witnessed by the interiors business over the last year and a half. Starting the company with just seven staff, the team has now grown to 28.  And in the next year they are looking to deliver gross sales of £14,000,000 and recruit another 10 members of…

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