Biopharma Company Arecor raises £6m for revolutionary diabetes treatments
Published: Sep 12, 2018
10 September 2018 – Arecor, the UK-based biopharmaceutical formulation company, has raised £6 million from new and existing investors to develop groundbreaking pharmaceutical drugs to transform the treatment of diabetes. The fundraising was led by Calculus Capital, Albion Capital, and Downing Ventures. BioScience Managers Limited, the international healthcare investment firm, advised Downing Ventures.
Through the application of its technology platform, Arecor is creating faster working, more effective drugs that help progress the creation of the next generation of artificial pancreas systems. The Company’s ultra-rapid acting insulin and ultra-concentrated insulins more closely mimic the insulin profile and response to glucose of healthy individuals, improving health outcomes and quality of life for people living with diabetes while reducing the wider costs to health services and society.
Arecor has developed a series of differentiated and proprietary formulations of generic insulin and glucagon drugs, which are used in the regulation of blood glucose. In people with diabetes, insulin is either lacking, not enough is produced or when produced, the insulin cannot be used effectively. Arecor plans to complete a series of first-in-man clinical trials for each of its three diabetic compounds and ultimately to partner with specialist diabetes companies for late stage clinical studies and global market access. The company’s insulin and glucagon products, which are set to transform diabetes treatments, could have peak annual sales of between $200 million and $1 billion each.
Biological drugs tend to degrade quickly in liquid formulations, limiting shelf life, increasing manufacturing costs, reducing clinical impact and, in extreme cases, the action can prevent a drug from reaching the market. The technology developed by Arecor stabilises complex biopharmaceuticals such as peptides and proteins in liquid format, preventing drug breakdown. Ultimately, Arecor looks to deliver superior biopharmaceutical product profiles to meet significant unmet medical needs across a broad range of therapeutic areas.
Sarah Howell, CEO of Arecor, said: “Diabetes is fast becoming one of the most challenging diseases for the UK and societies around the world. While current treatments are effective, diabetes still impacts significantly on an individual’s quality of life and on increased cost pressure to healthcare systems, such as the NHS. Our next generation diabetes products, enabled by our innovative and proprietary formulation technology, will lead to better treatments and improved health outcomes and quality of life for people living with this debilitating chronic condition. This investment will accelerate the clinical development of our diabetes speciality pharma portfolio and I am excited to be working with our new investors.”
Alexander Crawford, Investment Director, Calculus Capital, said: “Arecor is applying its unique and highly regarded reformulation technology which will help transform the growing diabetes market. As lead investor, we believe this is an exciting new phase from Arecor in the development of their technology and strong growth potential.”
Dr Christoph Ruedig, Partner, Albion Capital, said: “We have followed Arecor for some time and are excited by the societal value of its fast onset, short duration action insulin. Its technology is highly differentiated and the company is leading the sector in the area of stabilising liquid formulations for injectable drugs. We look forward to working with the strong leadership team to bring this extraordinary proposition to fruition and in doing so, aid many diabetic patients across the UK and beyond.”
Richard Lewis, Investment Director, Downing said: “As an investment opportunity, Arecor combines a solid and high margin technology business alongside a proprietary product offering that fulfils major unmet medical need. As a result, we believe that the diabetes pipeline should successfully attract quality international commercial partners.”
Jeremy Curnock Cook, Managing Partner, BioScience Managers said: “As the incidence of diabetes increases around the world there becomes a more urgent need to find better solutions to help patients manage the condition effectively. Arecor’s formulation technology and pipeline of diabetes products are ideally positioned to address these rising threats.”
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Notes To Editors
Arecor Limited is a leader in developing superior biopharmaceuticals through the application of an innovative formulation technology platform. Arecor is leveraging this platform to develop a portfolio of proprietary products that will enable improved treatments for diabetes via the innovative reformulation of approved proteins and peptides. Arecor's product portfolio also includes:
- Novel insulin formulations to deliver ultra-rapid acting insulin analogs and;
- Ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin to enable the miniaturisation of devices,
- Stable aqueous glucagon for emergency and artificial pancreas use, and
- A series of undisclosed pre-clinical programmes.
In addition, Arecor partners with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies to deliver superior reformulations of their proprietary products, which would otherwise not be possible using conventional formulation science.
About Calculus Capital
Calculus Capital is a specialist in creating and managing private equity funds for individuals. A pioneer in the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) space, Calculus launched the UK’s first HMRC-approved EIS fund in 1999 and has gone on to launch a further 19 EIS funds and five VCT share issues to date. Calculus seeks capital appreciation from dynamic, established, private UK companies across a multitude of sectors. Calculus prefers to invest £2m-£5m per company. As at 5th April 2018 it had over £169m of funds under management of which 95% is in EIS.
Calculus Capital’s experienced investment team, diligent investment process and ‘hands on’ approach have resulted in an impressive track record of investment success. Calculus has won multiple awards including ‘Best EIS Fund Manager’ at the Growth Investor Awards 2016 and the EIS Association’s ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ Award in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2011 and 2009 and most recently the award for Best Generalist EIS at the Tax Efficiency Awards in 2017.
Calculus Capital is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
About Albion Capital
Albion Capital is a leading independent investment manager with a long-term record of partnering ambitious business. The Albion Group has funds of just over £1 billion under investment management or administration and has increasingly focussed on technology, specifically software and tech enabled services with four Albion companies represented in the 2017 Sunday Times Tech Track 100. Albion Capital Group LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
About Downing Ventures
Downing Ventures is part of Downing LLP, an FCA authorised and regulated investment manager with over 30 years of experience and has raised funds from 35,000 investors. We help UK businesses grow by investing in them via our wide range of tax-efficient products. We are proud to have raised over £1.7 billion to invest into businesses across a range of sectors, from energy, care homes, health clubs, pubs, and children's nurseries to app-technology and e-commerce. We currently have approximately £1 billion of funds under management.
Find out more about us online at downing.co.uk.
About BioScience Managers
BioScience Managers is an international healthcare investment firm that finances and enables innovative science and technology with the potential to transform healthcare. Investments are made in both private and public companies, where its vision and strategic support enables it to deliver impressive investment returns. BioScience Managers operates from offices in Australia and the UK and from bases that span three regions - Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific, from where it sources investment opportunities. It is part of the PhillipCapital Group, which has more than US $28 billion under management and whose network of offices in 16 countries around the world provides access to valuable local knowledge and business contacts.
Find out more online at biosciencemanagers.com.
About the Downing and BioScience Managers partnership
Downing LLP, the London-based investment management firm, has partnered with BioScience Managers, the international healthcare investment firm, to manage the Downing FOUR Venture Capital Trust (VCT) – Healthcare Share Class, a £20 million fund which was launched in December 2016. This partnership brings together Downing’s expertise as a generalist VCT manager, together with BioScience Managers’ specialist expertise in healthcare investment. The combined investment strategy targets dividends of 4% p.a. (of net assets) from the fourth year onwards*, while seeking to minimise losses through careful selection of small specialist companies operating in key focus areas of the healthcare sector including those working in therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health.