27 September 2010
Catapult and Mercia Invest in Staffordshire Based nanoTherics
Catapult Venture Managers and Mercia Technology Seed Fund are key investors in a £1.1m funding round into Staffordshire-based nanoTherics, a company at the cutting edge of the growing gene therapy replacement market.
Mercia has invested a further £200k alongside Catapult’s injection of £600k from its Advantage Enterprise and Innovation Fund, which is specifically targeted at businesses looking for up to £2m of equity funding to grow. The remaining investment comes from private investors.
nanoTherics, which is based at the Guy Hilton Research Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, operates in the life sciences sector developing and commercialising innovative technologies and products designed to offer faster, more efficient ways to improve research into genetic disease disorders. Critical to this is a process called transfection - the technology allowing DNA and other materials to be placed inside a target cell. nanoTherics is selling a range of products based on nanomagnetic technology developed at Keele University and the University of Florida that enable this to be done faster, more efficiently and more productively than existing technologies.
Ray Harris, Investment Director with Catapult, commented: “nanoTherics was founded in 2007 and is a ‘spin-out’ from Keele University. The company has exciting prospects and is a welcome addition to our investment portfolio that includes several businesses within the medical device and healthcare sector. The appointment of David George as Chairman is seen by Catapult and Mercia as a key factor in the acceleration of growth for nanoTherics.
“There is currently a large and growing area of research looking at gene replacement therapies of which stem cell research is the most prominent.”
Dr. Mark Payton, Mercia Fund Principal, said: “We continue to support young technology-backed businesses such as nanoTherics that present scalable and disruptive products. This over subscribed round is a testament to the high calibre of management, the founding academics, their respective universities and the multi-billion dollar markets that they are chasing. We look forward to nanoTherics’s continued growth with a new set of supportive investors.”
nanoTherics CEO Dr. Linda Cammish commented: “Gene therapy, including stem cell therapy for example, has the potential to dramatically change the treatment of human disease. A number of gene therapies already exist, particularly those used to treat leukaemia, but none without some disadvantages.
“In the future, such technologies derived from further similar research which might benefit from the use of products such as those provided by nanoTherics, could be used to treat a wide variety of genetic based diseases and disorders including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and muscle damage, amongst a number of other impairments and conditions.”
“This investment comes at a key point in the Company growth strategy and will enable us to place additional resources into the commercialism of our products.”