News & Views

Successful Quarter for Rainbow Seed Fund

Jan 28 2010 Comments 0

The Rainbow Seed Fund, dedicated to investment in early stage technology companies arising from the research sector, is pleased to announce that five of its investments raised over £22 million in total over the summer.

Set up in 2002, the £10 million independently managed seed capital fund supports technologies from its publicly funded research base of 10 partners who collectively spend over £1billion on research annually. To date the
Rainbow Seed Fund has invested over £5m in helping to create 22 spin out companies which between them have raised well over £60m of additional capital, one of the highest leverage multiples in the sector

Commenting on the co-investment raised in the last quarter by the RSF portfolio, Dr Andrew Muir, Investment Director at the Rainbow Seed Fund, said:

“Raising over £22million of capital in the current difficult financing environment is testament to the quality of the companies RSF has helped to start and to the importance of specialist seed capital in backing early stage
technology companies. Rainbow Seed Fund continues to support early new ventures, investing in the best technologies and helping to bring in experienced management.”

P2i Ltd, a world leader in liquid-repellent nanocoating technology, which protects objects with a liquid-repelling shield, has raised £4.1 million from new and existing shareholders to support its accelerating commercialisation and international growth. Its revolutionary technology helps customers protect and improve a wide and growing range of products including performance textiles (such as hiking and military boots; running and golf shoes), hearing aids, laboratory consumables such as pipette tips, and a wide range of filtration products.

Microvisk Technologies, which has developed a micro-viscometer to enable improved measurement and monitoring of blood condition for the growing number of people on long term anti-coagulation therapy, has raised
over £725,000 as the first stage of a fund raising designed to take it through FDA approval and full launch in 2011/12. Early trials established superior performance when compared with the market leader, and therecent technical progress have strengthened the company’s view that the technology is inherently more robust and reliable. The market is growing strongly following the decision in the US to extend reimbursement to patient home use, where the company’s product is expected to score highly with patients due to its greater ease of use.

Novacta Biosystems Ltd (Novacta), which is developing a portfolio of antibiotics, raised £13.1 million of funding to drive novel antibiotics platform addressing areas of major unmet need, including hospital acquired
infections C. difficile and MRSA. Novacta is a UK-based company developing novel, naturallyderived products known as ‘lantibiotics’ as potential drugs. Lantibiotics have potent antiinfective properties but have historically been underexploited owing to a lack of research tools, a challenge that Novacta has successfully addressed through its proprietary technology platform. The most advanced programme will enter the clinic next year to treat infections caused by Clostridium difficile (C. difficile).

Crescendo Biologics Limited (Crescendo) has raised £4.5m in a seed-funding round to advance the development of its antibody technology. The company’s fragment antibody technology platforms bring together highly
innovative in vivo and in vitro technology platforms invented by scientists at the Babraham Institute, a Rainbow partner. Crescendo generates optimised human heavy chain fragments, the smallest functional binding units of an antibody molecule. These fragments offer several advantages as starting points for the development of novel therapeutics. They can be administered topically as well as by injection, they are easy to manufacture and stable and they have the potential to target binding sites inaccessible to standard antibodies. The seed funding will allow Crescendo to advance the development of its platforms and to initiate the development of proprietary therapeutics.


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