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First deal completed from Midlands Engine Investment Fund

A regenerative medicine business has become the first to receive £2m as part of a Midlands Engine Investment Fund which was launched in February by Sajid Javid.

Nottingham-based Locate Therapeutics has received the first equity investment from the Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund.

Part of a £2m finance package, underwritten by Warwickshire-based Mercia Fund Managers, including MEIF POC and Mercia EIS funds, the cash injection will help the company fast-track its medical inventions to market, as well as make six more hires.

Headquartered within MediCity, the company is a spinout from the University of Nottingham and is developing a targeted drug and stem cells delivery system.

This system enables doctors to administer treatments to delicate parts of the body where greater levels of precision are required, with the added investment bolstering Locate Therapeutics’ business development capacity as it trademarks its inventions and begins to market it to medical providers all over the world.

Chairman Ian Wilding said: “We are extremely excited about the potential of our drug delivery technologies to be ‘game changers’ in the field of regenerative medicine, opening up new products to change the lives of patients with severe illnesses.

“Our company has successfully transitioned from the research to development phase in the last three years and we welcome the backing of Mercia Fund Managers as our investment partner in our journey to commercialisation.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

British Business Bank managing director Ken Cooper said: “Locate Therapeutics has a real opportunity to make improvements in patient care – factors that without this equity investment would not be able to take place.

“Helping deals such as this go through is a big part of what the Midlands Engine Investment Fund was set-up to do, as it continues to support small innovative companies to grow and to address the regional funding imbalances across the UK.”

The Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which covers the whole of the Midlands, was one of three to be launched by the then housing secretary in February.

Midven is operating a Venture fund focusing on the West Midlands while Foresight Group is running a similar fund focused on the east and south east.

Julian Dennard, investment director at Mercia, said: “To be able to support innovative firms such as Locate Therapeutics is a key driver for Mercia Fund Managers.

“This is a great example of how finance available through the MEIF can be leveraged with private money to bring needed capital to a potentially high growth life sciences’ business.

“We look forward to working with Locate Therapeutics and its partners to drive the business forward, allowing patients to benefit from new treatments by building an exciting next generation drug delivery business.”

D2N2 chairman Peter Richardson said: “The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is designed to make the Midlands an engine for growth.

“By increasing the amount of finance available to companies across our area and working together as councils, businesses and local enterprise partnerships – we are helping businesses like Locate Therapeutics to grow, access new markets, export and flourish, both nationally and internationally.”

To find out more about Locate Therapeutics, please click here.

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