North West Digital Clinical Trial Recruitment Company Secures Six Figure Investment
July 15, 2013
A UK COMPANY which offers an innovative solution to recruit and retain global participants for medicine clinical trials has secured an investment of more than £250,000 from a group of investors.
Tomorrows Medicines Limited, based at Daresbury Sci-Tech, Cheshire has secured £100,500 from The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, another £100,500 from private investors and £50,000 from the Technology Strategy Board.
Tomorrows Medicines has developed an interactive web platform called YourTreatmentChoices.com where patients can find and join local clinical trials. It also services global pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostic, academic and other research organisation study teams in recruiting and retaining trial participants.
Delays in patient recruitment can lead to a delay in bringing new medicines to market. In the UK, issues with patient recruitment mean that 40 per cent of trials do not complete at all.
The funding will be used by Tomorrow Medicines to commercialise the YourTreatmentChoices.com platform and service. So far, the website has helped patients in 78 countries to find approved clinical trials in their local area.
Dr Clare Nolan, CEO of Tomorrows Medicines Limited said: ”We are delighted to receive the funding from the three parties and to receive recognition that the company provides an important service offering. It will enable us to provide a fully-supported service to global pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic companies looking to accelerate patient recruitment across all clinical areas. The clinical trial recruitment process is critical for the discovery of much-needed medical treatments and we can now make this process simpler, faster and more accessible.”
Dr Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact and manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, said: “From day one we could see the potential in Tomorrows Medicines’ novel, interactive platform for patient recruitment and retention services. Clinical research offers exciting drug discovery opportunities and we hope the investments will make a real difference to continue to grow the company.”
Melanie Yeomans, corporate finance partner at the Manchester office of law firm Ward Hadaway, who advised SPARK on the investment, said: “We were delighted to advise SPARK on its investment in Tomorrows Medicines.
“The company’s processes for the matching of patients to relevant medical trials have clearly exciting and far-reaching potential in both the development of new drugs and the successful treatment of patients for whom existing drug therapies have proved unsuccessful.”
Tomorrow Medicines Limited is The North West Fund for Biomedical’s 60th investment to date and the 40th company to be supported by the Fund. The North West Fund for Biomedical is part of the wider North West Fund, financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
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 June 2013 The North West Fund has invested £59m in over 190 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.