26 October 2011 -- Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’), a leading technology commercialisation and investment company, and Seroba Kernel Life Sciences have led a £5m funding round for the portfolio company, Veryan Medical, which is developing innovative solutions for vascular disease using the principles of biomimicry.
Innovations and Seroba Kernel each invested approximately half of the funds raised. Dr Geoffrey Vernon, the Chairman of Veryan Medical, also invested in this round. This follows a £3.6m funding round in March 2010 where Innovations and Seroba Kernel invested £1.1m and £1.8m respectively.
To date Innovations has invested a total of £8.9m in Veryan Medical and holds a 48.4% stake in the Company. John Holden, Innovations’ Director of Investments, is a non-executive director on the Board.
Veryan’s BioMimics 3D™ stent technology aims to mimic the natural shape and geometry of the human vascular system. It involves transposing a three dimensional helical shape onto a traditional straight stent. Pre-clinical studies have shown that BioMimics 3D stents are more flexible, more kink resistant and more fracture resistant than straight stents. They also impart swirling flow of blood through the stent, which has been shown to reduce restenosis (the renarrowing of stented arterial segments). Existing stent technologies have demonstrated poor clinical performance in certain indications and exhibit inadequate mechanical properties, leading to stent fracture and suboptimal clinical results.
The BioMimics 3D stent is initially targeted at the market for peripheral stents which exceeds £1 billion per year. This market is growing at around 20% per annum, due to new technology and expanding indications for vascular stents.
Veryan has completed enrollment of patients in its European study. This prospective randomized study has been conducted in Germany with Professor Thomas Zeller as the Principal Investigator. Initial results from this study confirm that the excellent preclinical results can be transferred to human clinical experience. Veryan will apply for CE mark in the near future. This latest funding will be employed to progress the Company towards a clinical study in the USA to achieve FDA approval.
Susan Searle, Imperial Innovations Chief Executive, commented:
“Veryan is one of our ‘accelerated companies’ as a result of its strong technology position. Given its recent exciting progress we are continuing to back the business which is well advanced in developing leading technologies for the growing peripheral stent market.”
Chas Taylor, Veryan’s Chief Executive, also commented:
“We are delighted by the continued support of our investors. Our early clinical results show great promise and we are excited about the opportunities for the BioMimics stent technology in this rapid growth market segment. We look forward to moving towards a clinical study in the US as a result of this latest funding.”
Imperial Innovations 020 7594 6589
Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer
Diana Crisp, PR Manager
College Hill 020 7457 2020
Adrian Duffield/Rozi Morris/Tim Watson
J.P. Morgan Cazenove 020 7588 2828
Michael Wentworth-Stanley/Paul Park
Imperial Innovations - www.imperialinnovations.co.uk
Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise.
Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:
- leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages
- providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products
- providing operational expertise
- helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members
The Group invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London; and Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL supported by its collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.
By raising £140 million in January 2011, the Group has been able to accelerate the making of, and increase the size of its investments. In the year to 31 July 2011, Innovations invested £35.1 million (2010: £14 million) in 23 ventures, and launched six new companies.
In its current portfolio of 78 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative vaccines for the treatment of a wide range of allergies; and Nexeon, a battery materials and licensing company which develops silicon anodes which extend the life and increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries.
Biomimicry Definition: Innovation inspired by nature. A study of nature’s models and structures and then their use to solve human problems (e.g. a solar cell inspired by a leaf, a stent inspired by a blood vessel )