Wednesday, September 13, 2017

News: Rotherham biotech firm looking for £2.5m funding boost

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Rotherham biotechnology company, Kirkstall Ltd, has commenced an investor marketing exercise as it looks to secure £2.5m.

Based in Templeborough, the firm is pioneering an advanced cell culture system that provides "in-vivo" like conditions for cell growth.

Kirkstall was established in 2006 and has an exclusive world-wide licence for patented cell culture technology from the University of Pisa in Italy. The technology, often referred to as "organ on a chip", provides a way to model the behaviour of multiple human organs interconnected by a flow system that mimics the flow of blood in the body.

Braveheart Investment Group plc, the fund management and strategic investor group, owns some 43% of the of the issued share capital of Kirkstall Ltd (37.65% on a fully diluted basis) and announced to the stock exchange that the board of Kirkstall is seeking to raise up to £2.5m in a private placing at a pre-money valuation of £5.6m.

Braveheart said that the original cost price of its investment was £287,000 and added that it does not currently intend to participate in the placing.

A further announcement is expected in due course.

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Braveheart first invested in Kirkstall in mid 2016. It said that it saw the company had a world leading technology in a market that is forecast to grow at 38% annually. The group has continued to invest in Kirkstall increasing its percentage holding from 32% to 38%.

In December 2016, Lush Cosmetics announced that Kirkstall had a won top prize at its global awards ceremony for innovation and training in the use of its Quasi Vivo products as a leading alternative to animal testing for cosmetics and drug development. Kirkstall has been using the prize money to deliver more training events for researchers in the EU and US who want to use the system.

Kirkstall's products are already being used by researchers in the development of drugs, nutraceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products. The technology is the outcome of over ten years of research and the firm has developed this into a commercially available, inter-connected cell culture system which can be set up so that it mimics the human metabolism, resulting in high quality, rather than just high throughput screening.

In 2007, Kirkstall won the Venturefest Investment competition and went on to secure further seed funding from the South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

Headquartered in Perth, Braveheart includes Viking Fund Managers which manages the £48m Finance Yorkshire Equity Fund.

Kirkstall Ltd website
Braveheart Investment Group website

Images: Kirkstall


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