A COMPANY which offers bespoke microbiological testing has secured £100,000 investment.
Perfectus Biomed, based at Sci-Tech Daresbury, received £50,000 from The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, and another £50,000 from venture capital company Midven.
Perfectus Biomed specialises in the microbiological testing of biofilm encased bacteria. Persistent biofilm infections have been linked to chronic non-healing wounds, failed medical implants and catheter infections.
Perfectus Biomed carries out microbiological testing to help their clients develop antimicrobial and anti-biofilm agents and devices suitable for use in areas including wound care, medical implants, dentistry and contact lenses.
The North West Fund for Biomedical is part of the wider £155m North West Fund, financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
The funding will be used by Perfectus Biomed to expand the company’s research team to meet the growing demand for testing. It also plans to implement a marketing strategy across the UK and in Europe, and to invest in capital assets in order to improve service and develop management systems within the company.
Dr Samantha Westgate, business and scientific director of Perfectus Biomed, said: “We are delighted to receive this investment. It will support the growth and development of Perfectus Biomed, enabling us to increase employee numbers and drive our exciting expansion into new sectors.”
Dr Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact and manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, said: “Perfectus Biomed has developed a novel research based approach to microbiological testing and we’re pleased to support the firm in its growth plans.
“Its work supports key medical sectors and we believe it to be a huge asset to SPARK’s biomedical portfolio.”
Dr Andrew Muir, director of Midven and investment director of the Rainbow Seed Fund, said: “There are very few companies that provide the services of which Perfectus can be justifiably proud, so there is considerable potential for growth.
“The importance of biofilm testing is being increasingly recognised across the consumer and medical device sectors and Perfectus is uniquely poised to take advantage of this. They are precisely the sort of organisation which can benefit from venture capital funding as they look to grow their laboratory as well as the sales resource, both of which are key in helping move the company on to the next stage.”
Perfectus Biomed is The North West Fund for Biomedical’s 57th investment to date and the 38th company to be supported by the Fund.
The North West Fund for Biomedical and SPARK Impact
The £25m North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, is a sub-fund of The North West Fund, which is provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to supply equity funding to small and medium sized enterprises in the North West of England.
The North West Fund for Biomedical, which was launched in February 2011, is accessible to a broad range of companies including those developing pharmaceuticals, new diagnostics and medical devices, and those working in the fields of clinical research, contract manufacturing and analytical services. It is open to companies based in, or prepared to relocate to, the North West of England, with 40% of the fund to be invested on Merseyside. It is expected that the fund will invest in over 50 businesses. It has already received over 200 applications and made over 30 investments to date. For more information about the fund and how to apply please visit www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk
The North West Fund
The North West Fund is a substantial evergreen investment fund established to provide debt and equity funding (from £50,000 to £2 million) to small and medium sized enterprises based in, or relocating to, the North West of England. The North West Fund addresses an identified gap in the lending, venture capital and private equity markets. It is one of the largest public sector funds of its kind in Europe and the largest in the UK.
The North West Fund is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the European Commission’s Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises Initiative – otherwise known as the JEREMIE programme.
The North West Fund is the umbrella name for the six funds that are available to businesses in the form of debt, equity and quasi-equity. These funds are managed by five fund managers under contract with North West Business Finance Limited (NWBF), which has been established to oversee the delivery of The North West Fund. Initially, £150m has been allocated to the fund managers, as outlined below, with a further £5m to be allocated in due course:
Name of fund
Enterprise Ventures Ltd
FW Capital Ltd
Enterprise Ventures Ltd
Spark Impact Ltd
CT Investment Partners LLP
Energy & Environmental
AXM Venture Capital Ltd
Digital & Creative
Funding to be allocated in due course
Each fund manager has a mandate to invest their allocation into the specific product or sector they manage, until 31st December 2015. NWBF is a private, not for profit company, established to oversee the delivery of The North West Fund.
Between December 2010 and March 2013 The North West Fund has invested over £54m in 180 businesses. Further funding has also been earmarked to support these businesses as they grow and many more new investments are planned over 2013 and the years ahead to 2015.
The JEREMIE initiative offers EU Member States, through their national or regional Managing Authorities, the opportunity to use part of their European Union (EU) Structural Funds to finance small and medium-sized enterprises by means of equity, loans or guarantees, through a revolving umbrella fund. The initiative was developed by the European Commission and the European Investment Fund, which is part of the European Investment Bank Group.
JEREMIE provides for a range of debt and equity financial tools to obtain the most appropriate allocation of funds according to national, regional or local requirements.
ERDF in the Northwest
ERDF is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment.
The EIB is the European Union’s long-term financing institution and, provides long-term finance for capital projects promoting European economic objectives. The EIB made its first loan in the UK in 1973 and since then has lent around €75bn for investment in the UK economy. In the years from 2004 to 2009, the EIB financed investment in the UK totalling some € 23.5bn – GBP 17.5 billion.
Midven’s £14m Rainbow Seed Fund invests in projects and companies arising from the world class research carried out in its partners’ laboratories across the UK or based at the campuses supported by its partners. The national science and innovation campuses act as important national focal points for science-based collaboration and knowledge exchange with industry and academia. Our partners aim to deliver strong engagement and build a thriving and interactive community of world-leading scientists, technologists and innovators. The campuses enable access to cutting-edge facilities and core scientific and technological strengths and provide an avenue to develop new capabilities and ways of working.