Fredrik Elgh and Jonathan Gilthorpe identified a novel antiviral activity against the herpes virus that targets the early stages of viral infection. They have explored this further to develop an antiviral drug that can be used to treat herpes virus infections more efficiently and help overcome antiviral resistance.

For how many years did you work with the incubator team?

“Approximately 3 years in total.”

What happened to your idea in the end? 

“The idea still holds today, however we met some problems identifying and validating the target for our compounds and ran out of funds. We relied on one very talented person in the team to do the lab work and when that person left for a more secure job, the project essentially ground to a halt. The market was also awaiting the results of two ongoing clinical trials so it was hard to motivate further investment until the results of these were known. So the project is in stasis right now.”

What did you most appreciate about the incubator environment?

“Great work ethic and energy amongst the incubator team and associates. You get a feeling that anything is possible and this helps build a constructive and nurturing environment.”

What learnings have you taken with you from your journey in the incubator?

“Make sure everyone in the team shares the vision and each person knows their role. Enjoy the process. You usually need to fail in order to succeed.”

What would you say to others wanting to utilise a research idea?

“Start from the final product and work backwards. Business and research require different mindsets and thorough processes. Be prepared for this.”

UBI Incubation Phase


Contact Information

Jonathan Gilthorpe
Research Group Leader at Umeå University