A Scottish company working on what would be the first major advancement in the treatment of stroke patients in two decades has appointed a new chief executive as it seeks to expand its global presence.

David Brennan will take over from the outgoing Jim McGuire next month as the head of Glasgow-based Aurum Biosciences, having already served as interim chief executive of Aurum and as principal clinical physicist at the nearby Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The move comes as the company continues work on its patented ABL-101 platform, a therapeutic drug based on a small molecule that can carry oxygen past a blood clot to where it is needed in the brain.

Mr Brennan said he was "incredibly proud to have taken up this exciting role", and is fully committing his future to Aurum.

HeraldScotland: David BrennanDavid Brennan (Image: Aurum)

“I was a founding member of the company and previously director of project management, taking a keen interest in all aspects of company development, but when the opportunity to become CEO arose, I simply couldn’t turn it down," he said.

“Aurum has grown so much since I first came onboard. Initially, I thought we would just licence out the technology, then it became a spinout with a whole new life of its own and a very bright future."

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Aurum was set up in 2015 as a spin-out from InnoScot Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the University of Glasgow. In 2020 it raised £670,000 as part of a round of equity funding to develop its treatments and diagnostics that have attracted international investment and collaborations.

While Aurum has selected stroke as its first therapeutic target, its novel molecule is also being developed for inflammatory conditions, oncology, cardiovascular conditions, spinal cord injury, and dementia.