Back pain relief innovators secure investment from The North West Fund for Biomedical

  • January 10, 2013

The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, has invested £125,000 in medical devices company LumbaCurve International Ltd.

LumbaCurve International Ltd, which is due to relocate to the biomedical cluster at Liverpool Science Park, has developed a patented device designed to provide relief to sufferers of lower back pain.

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 investment will be used by LumbaCurve for both market development and a clinical effectiveness study, which will be carried out by the University of Central Lancashire’s state of the art Movement Analysis Laboratory.

Positive trial results will not only substantiate existing user testimonials, but will provide the medical credibility required to give LumbaCurve access to healthcare professionals, NHS sales, overseas distribution channels and retailers.

David Pegg, director of LumbaCurve, said: “We’re really pleased to have received this investment from SPARK, having struggled to raise finance from the usual channels.

“Although LumbaCurve has demonstrated time and time again that it works for back pain sufferers, we need to establish empirical evidence of its effectiveness in the treatment of back pain. We hope this could open up potential opportunities to the worldwide healthcare market, which is looking for a back pain relief product that works.”

Dr Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact and manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, said: “Back pain is an endemic problem in western society with an estimated 40 per cent of adults experiencing the problem.

“LumbaCurve is an exciting product, which may have a genuine impact not only on how we treat lower back pain in the UK, but globally.”

LumbaCurve is The North West Fund for Biomedical’s 31st investment to date.




For more information please visit

Media contacts

SPARK Impact

Louise Clancy,, 0151 705 3416

The North West Fund

Chris Hopper or Liam Buckley @ MC2 – 0161 236 1352

Notes to editors

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


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 six fund managers under contract with North West Business Finance Limited (NWBF), which has been established to oversee the delivery of The North West Fund.  £170m has been allocated to the six fund managers, as outlined below:

Fund manager Name of fund Fund committed
YFM Private   Equity Development   Capital £30m
FW Capital   Ltd Business Loan £35m
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
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 December 2012 The North West Fund has invested over £40m in 146 businesses. Further funding has also been earmarked to support these businesses as they grow and many more new investments are planned over 2012 and the three years ahead to 2015.

For further information please visit


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


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.