The Fixed Phage story – From Start-up to Scale-up

DATE: 24th January 2023

Who is Fixed Phage?

Fixed Phage is a biotechnology company, based in Glasgow, Scotland. Fixed Phage was founded in 2010, and is now made up of a team of 14 people, headed up by CEO David Browning and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) Dr Jason Clark. Fixed Phage designs and develops immobilized bacteriophage formulations to target and destroy undesirable bacteria in a range of different applications, ranging from agricultural crop protection to human health.



What is the story of Fixed Phage?

Dr Michael Mattey, the founder of Fixed Phage, began his academic journey at the University of Leeds, completing his undergraduate degree and a PhD in biochemistry. After finishing his PhD, Dr Massey became a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, where he collaborated closely with microbiologists working on fermentation. It was here that Dr Mattey made his breakthrough that would eventually lead to the development of the technology behind Fixed Phage.

The original project that sparked the innovation of Fixed Phage began in the late 1990s and was focused on making a container that would never be able to grow bacteria or yeast. Seemingly an almost impossible task, over 7 years the team at the University of Strathclyde grappled with the project with limited success. The project eventually wrapped up and the intellectual property fell to Mike. It wasn’t until one of Dr Massey’s first-year students became interested in the project again that they finally achieved their goal! At last, they tested a bacteriophage and discovered that it was producing micro plaques in the spaces where the bacteria had once been. 

Realizing the potential of the bacteriophages, the University of Strathclyde helped Dr Massey to file a generic patent in 2003. Following the input of venture capital funding, an extensive project ensued. They needed to test the technology to its limits, to fully understand the phages and to prove that they would work as suspected. It was fortunate that around this time Mike was also working with a car polish company called Glaze. Glaze bought Mike and his team their first corona discharge machine that they were able to use to test their theories and prove that their phage immobilization technology worked.

After many years of research and development, Trevor Langley and Jim Chadwick joined Dr Mike Massey to form Fixed Phage as an incorporated company, funded by venture capital from Barwell Plc. By the time the company was formally founded in 2010, Mike was close to retirement and so Dr Jason Clark was brought on as CSO. Dr Mike Massey remains part of the scientific advisory board and is still interested in all things Fixed Phage, that is when he isn’t attending to his orchids!

Read Part Two to learn about the unique and innovative Fixed Phage technology and what the future holds for Fixed Phage…

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