SPARK Impact and the North West Fund have now invested in more than 100 healthcare start-ups and companies across the region.
Since December 2014, SPARK Impact (manager of the North West Fund for Biomedical) has invested a further £1.4 million as follow-on funding to its existing portfolio of companies, as well as more than £300,000 for innovative and new growth companies that are developing novel services and technologies.
Two of the latest companies of the 101 beneficiaries of the North West Fund for Biomedical include a firm that has developed a new polymer for rehydrating back discs to relieve pain and the cancer therapeutic company Incanthera.
The North West Fund for Biomedical acts as a sub-fund of The North West fund, which offers investment finance for businesses in the region courtesy of the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank. The Fund is available to small and medium sized businesses to support start-up, development and growth.
SPARK Impace, with offices at Liverpool Science Park and BioHub at Alderley Park, has now invested more than £24.5 million of its allocated £30 million.
Companies that have benefitted from funding include:
- Incanthera, based in Manchester, which has raised a further £1.3m jointly from SPARK Impact and Advent International and has also completed several acquisitions to grow its pipeline of exciting opportunities. The technology, which acts as a “smart bomb” treatment to target solid tumour cells directly with virtually no side effects to the rest of the body, has now received a patent certificate in both Japan and the US.
- Daresbury-based Tomorrows Medicines. Now used in more than 100 countries, the firm’s website helps patients to access clinical trials and also helps trial sponsors access the right patients. The follow on of nearly £250,000 will enable the business to continue to expand and increase the number of clinical trials as well as further demonstrate and validate its business model.
- Gelexir, a spin-out from the University of Manchester, which has developed a polymer for rehydrating back discs to relieve pain, has received follow on of £50,000 and medical device company Swabtech has secured more than £100,000.
- Nano Biosols, who are the recipients of a first time investment of £100,000. Nano Biosols are an early stage venture developing gold nano particles for use in life science research, diagnostics or nanomedicine.
- Nimbus Medical, the developer of independent living platform for the elderly and vulnerable has received a new investment of £200,000.
Dr Andy Round, investment director at SPARK Impact, said:
“Our pipeline of investments in the life sciences sector has been extremely healthy since the fund began four years ago – so much so that we were given an extra £5m from The North West Fund to top up the fund to £30m.
“We have catalysed the biomedical sector in the North West and unearthed some truly promising innovations which we feel will give a good return to the fund as well as changing the lives of patients. The quality and potential of the businesses we have worked with has been very encouraging but we now need to consider where the next tranche and funds will come from. Some of these excellent companies need further capital to continue to develop and thrive which means attracting further monies.”
Words: Peter Cribley