North West Fund makes first two investments

The £25 million North West Fund for Biomedical has made investments in two companies in the region, Avente Medical Products and TopCat Research.

The businesses have each secured £50,000 Pathfinder Investments from the fund, which is run by early stage venture capital firm Spark Impact and is part of the £185 million evergreen fund provided by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Avente Medical Products, which plans to develop a range of single-use medical devices, will use the funding to consolidate its intellectual property position, complete a market survey and finalise product design ready for manufacture, according to a statement.

Cheshire-based TopCat Research is developing immunoassay-based diagnostic tests for the pharmaceutical, environmental and food markets.

The company will use the financing to take its first diagnostic kit from R&D to prototype stage.

Anthony Cope, director of TopCat Research, says, ‘We believe immunoassay-based diagnostic tests are a growth area, and this investment will enable the company to develop its proprietary system to capitalise on this market potential.’

Spark Impact’s senior investment director Dr Penny Attridge says that both businesses ‘are addressing clear market needs and will be closely supported by the Spark Impact investment team to fulfil their commercial potential’.

The fund was set up to supply debt and equity funding to small and medium sized enterprises in the North West of England.

David Malpass, ERDF director of European programme, adds, ‘The North West is one of a handful of globally recognised bioscience communities, as well as being Europe’s biggest biomanufacturing region.’

Over 50 companies will receive investment from the fund.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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