SPARK Impact Ltd is pleased to announce that Evgen Pharma plc, a portfolio company of the North West Fund for Biomedical, has been admitted to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and that its shares commence trading today.
Evgen Pharma plc, the Liverpool-based clinical stage drug development company whose lead programmes are in breast cancer and subarachnoid haemorrhage (a type of stroke), raised £7m through an oversubscribed IPO. Its core technology is Sulforadex®, a means of synthesising and concurrently stabilising the naturally occurring compound sulforaphane (or novel analogues based upon it).
SPARK Impact first invested in Evgen Pharma via the North West Fund for Biomedical in 2011.
Dr Stephen Franklin, CEO of Evgen Pharma plc, said: “We thank both the North West Fund for Biomedical and SPARK Impact for their support, which was pivotal in allowing Evgen Pharma to reach the stage where it was ready to join the public markets.”
Dr Marc d’Abbadie, Investment Director at SPARK Impact, commenting on today’s announcement, said: “We are delighted with Evgen Pharma’s progress, not least because of the value it has generated for the North West Fund for Biomedical but also because it provides yet more evidence of the quality of the science and entrepreneurs in the North West Biocluster.”
Cliff Maylor, CEO at The North West Fund, said: “Evgen Pharma’s oversubscribed IPO is a great example of the value that the North West Fund has delivered to the region by nurturing worldclass companies through the equity gap. We congratulate Evgen Pharma and look forward to seeing the company continue to grow.”
The North West Fund for Biomedical is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
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Notes to editors
The North West Fund for Biomedical and SPARK Impact
The £30m 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. The fund has received over 250 applications and made over 54 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 investment fund established to provide debt and equity funding (from £25,000 to £2 million) to small and medium sized enterprises based in, or relocating to, the North West of England. The 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 seven funds that are available to businesses in the form of debt, equity and quasi-equity. These funds are managed by individual fund managers. Each fund manager has a mandate to invest their allocation into the specific product or sector they manage, by 31st December 2015.
The fund managers are under contract with North West Business Finance Limited (NWBF), which is a private, not for profit company, established to oversee the delivery of The North West Fund.
The North West Fund has now invested over £125m in more than 375 businesses. Further funding has also been earmarked to support these businesses as they grow and many more new investments are planned throughout 2015.
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. The 2007-2013 ERDF programme, which is worth €755 million, has enhanced 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.