Artificial Fertility Specialist secures £65,000 investment from The North West Fund for Biomedical

  • April 29, 2013

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.

ENDS

 

Media contacts


SPARK Impact

Louise Clancy, Louise.Clancy@sparkimpact.co.uk, 0151 705 3416

The North West Fund

Chris Hopper or Liam Buckley @ MC2 – 0161 236 1352

 

Notes to editors

 

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:

Fund manager Name of fund Fund committed
Enterprise Ventures Ltd Mezzanine £15m
FW Capital Ltd Loans Plus £45m
Enterprise Ventures Ltd Venture Capital £30m
Spark Impact Ltd Biomedical £25m
CT Investment Partners LLP Energy & Environmental £20m
AXM Venture Capital Ltd Digital & Creative £15m
Funding to be allocated in due course £5m
Total £155m

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.

For further information please visit www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk


European structure, JEREMIE

 

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.

ERDF in the North West is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government – for further information visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding.

 

EIB

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.