An emerging artificial fertility specialist company, whose work could reduce the number of animals used in research by 24 per cent, has secured £65,000 investment from The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact.
Studies have shown Ostara’s technology to be effective in substantially enhancing livestock breeding programmes and ultimately improving the efficiency of current breeding techniques.
In addition to domestic species, it could also be used to increase the reproductive success of rare animals and endangered species. In the longer term, Ostara’s technology could be deployed to boost success rates of existing human infertility treatment practices.
Investing the money is The North West Fund for Biomedical which is part of the wider £155m North West Fund, financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
Dr Nadia Gopichandran, co-founder and chief technical director of Ostara, said: “We are very excited to receive this funding. I would like to thank SPARK Impact and The North West Fund for Biomedical for investing in Ostara, and giving us the opportunity to develop new products in the fertility field. “The investment means we can push on with our plans to progress our technology further with the aim of launching a product in 2015.”
Dr Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact and fund manager for The North West Fund for Biomedical said: “The team at Ostara is passionate about this technology and we hope to see them succeed in taking this innovative product to market.”
Ostara Biomedical Ltd is The North West Fund for Biomedical’s 51st investment to date and 36th company to be supported by The Fund.
25 January 2013
The North West Fund for Digital & Creative, managed by AXM Venture Capital Limited, has made an equity investment of £150,000 into Liverpool-based Med ePad Limited, alongside a personal investment from new management.
A sister fund, The North West Fund for Biomedical managed by SPARK Impact had previously backed the company, and AXM and Spark will co-manage the investment.
The North West Fund for Digital & Creative is part of The North West Fund and is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
The investment will fund the company's ongoing trials of the Med ePad system with customers within the NHS through to full scale commercial implementation later in 2013.
In addition to its financial support, AXM was able to introduce a new chairman Tom Nawojczyk and new chief executive John Hopkins, to work with Med ePad's founder Rob Connell to deliver the team's vision of a tablet-based mobile healthcare system. Med ePad aids practitioner-patient engagement, and improves patient compliance and health outcomes.
Tom Nawojczyk and John Hopkins previously led in4tek Limited, a successful patient-centric healthcare systems vendor, which they sold to Civica in 2009.
The North West Fund has cumulatively led £500,000 of equity investment into Med ePad, including investment from the new management team.
13th December 2012
The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, has invested £250,000 in medical devices manufacturer Handsome Ltd.
Handsome Ltd, which is based at Manchester Business Park in South Manchester, is currently developing a range of products to provide spinal pain relief.
The investment will be used to complete product development and clinical user studies, as well as implementing relevant ISO accreditations and commercialising products to bring them to market.
The North West Fund for Biomedical is part of The North West Fund, a £155million evergreen fund that is jointly financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
Mark Critchley, chief executive of Handsome Ltd, said: "We are currently developing a range of innovative health care devices to provide spinal pain relief, which we intend to bring to market in 2013.
"The investment and support from The North West Fund for Biomedical will be crucial in helping us to maintain our progress and translate our innovations into commercial reality."
Dr Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact and manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, said: "The range of products being developed by Handsome could make a significant impact on the provision of healthcare in the UK and beyond. We are delighted to make this investment and look forward to seeing how the team progresses in the coming months and years."
Med ePad, a Liverpool Science Park, UK-based mobile health company, has raised £125k in third funding.
This follow-on investment was made by The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, which has now committed £250k in the business.
Med ePad plans to use this new tranche to employ additional staff (http://www.medepad.com/index.php/vacancies/) and expand its project development pipeline.
Led by chief technical officer and founder Rob Connell, the company provides interactive devices (7-inch tablets) and apps (created in conjunction with NHS healthcare professionals) designed to enable patients to manage their self-care and address problematic areas such as missed appointments rates, post operative care and the management of long term condition sufferers.
A firm that has invented a device to deliver drugs through patients' noses has secured a £400,000 boost.
Alchemy Pharmatech, based at the Daresbury Science and Innovation Park, has secured the funding from the North West Fund for Biomedical.
Alchemy has come up with a device that allows the nasal delivery of pharmaceutical products, including DNA vaccines, hormone replacement compounds and pain control products.
Drug delivery through the nose has several advantages for the patient, as it is non-invasive, removing any associated needle pain or anxiety.
It will use the investment to complete the development of the device to prepare it for human trials.
It will also allow to appoint a full time chief executive.
The North West Fund for Biomedical is one of six cash pots comprising the £185m North West Fund, creating using European money. It is managed by SPARK Impact.
Ian Harrison, founder Alchemy, said: “This round of investment will allow us to complete work on the device so it can then go on to be used in a human drug trial, which is another important step closer in bringing the product to market.”
Dr Penny Attridge, Senior investment director at SPARK Impact, said: “We look forward to seeing the results of the trial and hope to see Alchemy go from strength to strength.”
A company which has invented a device to help diagnose a heart condition affecting up to half a million people in the UK has secured a £50,000 funding boost.
Rapid Rhythm, based at the Manchester Science Parks, received the backing to develop its hand-held device to diagnose Atrial Fibrillation from the The North West Fund for Biomedical.
AF is a condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally-fast heart rate and is traditionally diagnosed by carrying out an ECG, which involves applying electrodes to the skin to measure the electrical activity of the heart in a hospital.
Rapid Rhythm’s device can diagnose AF far quicker and could be used at a GP’s surgery.
The investment will be used to improve the design of the device to help improve its accuracy.
It also means Rapid Rhythm will be able to make prototypes, run trials and gather data needed to get regulatory approval for it.
Adam Fitzpatrick, consultant cardiologist and company founder, said: “AF carries with it a high risk factor for stroke, which is the third largest cause of death in the UK and many other western countries.
“For patients in AF, their risk of stroke can be substantially reduced using anti-coagulant drugs but there is currently no device available which enables healthcare professionals to quickly test patients for the presence of AF, prescribe anti-coagulants and reduce the incidence of stroke.”
Rapid Rhythm is the 17th investment to date for The North West Fund for Biomedical, which is managed by SPARK Impact.
The Fund is part of the £185m North West Fund that is jointly financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.