Infection control innovator secures investment from The North West Fund for Biomedical

  • February 19, 2013

The developer of a unique disposable tourniquet, ASep Healthcare, has secured £120,000 investment from The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact.

ASep Healthcare, currently based in South Kensington, London, but due to move to Liverpool Science Park, developed an award winning disposable tourniquet designed to prevent cross infection between patients.

The company was previously backed by Imperial Innovations, which builds and invests in promising technology and healthcare companies.

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 ASep to expand UK, EU and US sales of its product, the Tournistrip, and to introduce a second product into international markets.

The Tournistrip is the only medical tourniquet to have been clinically trialled, which involved two London Teaching Hospitals, 226 patients and 20 phlebotomists.

Alan Edwards, chairman and chief executive of ASep, said: “ASep Healthcare is delighted to receive investment from the Fund. Our sales have increased by 100% per year for the past three years and the investment is being targeted at continuing to grow sales of Tournistrip and introduce our second product into the marketplace.”

Dr Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact and manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, said: “This award winning product has the potential to make a real difference to infection control and phlebotomy.

“ASep’s Tournistrip is already doing remarkably well in the UK market and we’re delighted to be helping them progress further.”



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

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.  £155m has been allocated to the five fund managers, as outlined below:

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 £30m
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 2013 and the years ahead to 2015.

For further information please visit

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. 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

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.