University of Sheffield spin-out company helping to secure the future of UK chemistry

A new spin-out company launched on 3 August 2017 by the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with the University of Leeds, will enable pharmaceutical industries to develop life-saving medicines and secure the future of chemistry research in the UK.

Formed with input from industry leaders, the spinout, Redbrick Molecular Ltd, will partner closely with universities to identify commercially valuable chemistry before licensing and manufacturing compounds for use in industrial drug discovery research and development. The company will then dedicate all its profits to support further UK chemistry research through grant funding projects at its member institutions.

Chemistry beakersThe company will sit perfectly at the interface between industrial customers and universities to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange, providing added value for all parties.

Professor Dave Petley, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield said: “Universities are always seeking novel ways to translate research into industry-ready tools. I am delighted that Sheffield is a partner in Redbrick Molecular’s pioneering approach to commercialisation, which is inspirational and offers an innovative way to fund future academic research.”

Professor Simon Jones, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield and member of the Science Advisory Group said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the innovative science going on in UK chemistry departments and to clearly demonstrate the commercial impact at an international level.”

Andy Hogben, Managing Director of Redbrick Molecular said: “Redbrick is specifically designed to act as a conduit between academic and industrial research. We focus on delivering industrial-grade products that are attractive to medicinal chemists working in research and development whilst supporting our academic partners to develop exciting new chemistry.”

Redbrick Molecular’s unique business model was conceived with input from industry leaders and academics alike who wished to improve and secure chemistry research in the UK, and see this research used to develop life-saving medicines. The venture was conceived with significant input from Professor Simon Jones (University of Sheffield) and industrialist Dr David Lathbury and is now further supported by the world leading expertise of Professors Joe Harrity (University of Sheffield), Steve Marsden and Adam Nelson (both of University of Leeds), among others. The company will actively seek to build on this base by forming relationships with other Higher Education Institutions as both licensors and future company members.

Find out more about Redbrick Molecular by visiting

Additional Information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For more information about this story, please contact:

Andy Hogben
Managing Director
Redbrick Molecular Ltd
0114 222 0999