UKI2S, Catapult Ventures and Jonathan Milner invest £500K in gene modulation newcomer Pencil Biosciences
Alderley Park, Cheshire, UK, 11th December 2019 / UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), Catapult Ventures’ GM&C Life Sciences Fund and Jonathan Milner are pleased to announced an investment in Pencil Biosciences, a novel gene modulation company based at Alderley Park, Cheshire. A further investment by o2h Ventures anticipated shortly will complete a seed round of £500k that will enable the Company to establish proof of concept for its innovative gene modification technology.
Pencil Biosciences aims to develop a novel, programmable genome-modulation tool that overcomes the challenges associated with the technologies currently available.
This latest funding round follows shortly after a recent grant from the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator in November this year. The company was awarded ~£200k early-stage funding by the Accelerator to develop its technology.
Jon Moore, Executive Chair of Pencil Biosciences, said: “Pencil Biosciences has ambitious plans to develop a truly innovative gene modulation technology that could have impacts across a range of applications, including new therapeutic options for patients with rare diseases. We are delighted to receive the Accelerator award from Innovate UK which together with funding from our supportive group of early-stage investors will fund the company into early 2021. We see the facilities and supportive network available at Alderley Park as a key driver of our future success.”
Pablo Lubroth, Investor Director of Pencil Biosciences and Manager at UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund, said: “We are excited to announce this investment in the next generation of genome engineering tools. The company has raised 2.5x the grant awarded by the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator, successfully leveraging Innovate UK funding”.
For further information, contact:
Dr Andrew Muir
T: +44 (0)121 710 1990
Emma Pickup/Richard Anderson
T: +44 (0)20 3755 0571
Notes to Editors
About the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S)
UKI2S is a national seed investment fund that helps the UK to build innovative businesses, leverage private investment and create jobs. UKI2S achieves this by nurturing new businesses arising from the great science undertaken in the UK; providing the patient, long-term committed capital and strategic advice these companies need. Over the past decade and more, UKI2S has established an impressive track record with 55 portfolio companies created – with only £14m of capital from UKI2S – that between them have attracted over £400m of later stage investment and now have a combined market value of over £700m. UKI2S works closely with its partners – led by STFC, BBSRC and NERC, which are all part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Dstl — and is aligned with the Catapults and Innovate UK to create the best environment for innovation to flourish and in turn, boost the UK’s competitiveness and productivity by commercialising key technological advances in industrial biotech, ag tech, healthcare, medicine, clean energy, materials, artificial intelligence, software and space. UKI2S is independently managed by specialist venture capital firm Midven www.midven.co.uk. For more information, please visit www.ukinnovationscienceseedfund.co.uk.
About GM&C Life Sciences Fund
Managed by Catapult Ventures, the GM&C Life Sciences Fund is a seed and early stage venture capital fund targeting life sciences businesses located in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire & Warrington region.
The Fund is the result of a collaboration between Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Cheshire East Council, and Manchester Science Partnerships and can be invested in ‘Life Science’ businesses across the following sectors:
- Life Science contract research organisations (CRO)
- Healthcare technologies
- Medical devices
With contributions from both private and public-sector partners, the size of the Fund, at launch, is around £31m. Full details can be found at: www.gmclifesciencesfund.com
About Catapult Ventures
Catapult Ventures is an independent venture capital fund manager that has been investing in UK businesses since 2002. Catapult's owners have operated discrete funds on behalf of public and private sector investors totalling c. £130m, including the GM&C Life Sciences Fund.
Since 2015 Catapult has recorded 11 profitable exits averaging 3.9x money multiple, including Accutronics (9.1x), Lumora (4.7x), Oxford Cryosystems (5.2x), Systems Integration (4.9x), Monica Healthcare (3.6x), BWB Consulting (3.2x*), Hangar7 (3x), Haemostatix (3x*) and Stagecoach (2x). [* expected]
Catapult Ventures and Catapult Ventures Group are trading names of Catapult Ultimate Holdings Ltd, which is the ultimate holding company of Catapult Venture Managers Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. www.catapult-ventures.com
About Pencil Biosciences
Pencil Biosciences is a seed stage company developing a novel genome modulation platform that it anticipates will have wide impact across a range of applications. Based in the BioHub at Cheshire’s Alderley Park, the company benefits from an experienced board and management team. www.pencilbiosciences.com