Funds will be used to advance pre-clinical and manufacturing development programmes and prepare for clinical studies.
Leeds, UK, 13 May 2021: LUNAC Therapeutics (LUNAC), a UK-based drug discovery company focused on the development of advanced life-saving anticoagulants, announces it has raised £4.75 million in an additional financing round.
The funding has come from Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the NPIF, the government’s Future Fund, and existing investors including Caribou Property Ltd and Epidarex Capital.
Dr. Mervyn Turner, Chair of LUNAC Therapeutics, commented:
“LUNAC has demonstrated exceptional progress working closely with our world-leading academic founders and CRO partners. This new funding, alongside follow-on investment from our existing investor, demonstrates the clear medical need and value of our programme. LUNAC is in an excellent position to move our programme forward into preclinical development and prepare for the first clinical studies. We thank Caribou and Epidarex for their ongoing support and welcome Mercia as a new investor.”
Mark Wyatt, Investment Director with Mercia, commented:
“LUNAC is a great example of the world-leading academic research base that exists within the Yorkshire region that is attracting significant specialist investment. We are pleased to be able to support the business alongside others at this time, and are excited to see its novel therapeutic programme continue to make progress.”
The Northern Powerhouse 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.
About LUNAC Therapeutics
LUNAC Therapeutics is a spin out from the University of Leeds pursuing the discovery of next generation oral anticoagulant therapies with a reduced risk of causing bleeding compared to current treatments. LUNAC’s primary focus is on the inhibition of activated Factor XII (FXIIa), a clotting factor enzyme which plays a role in pathological clot formation (thrombosis), but not in the stemming of bleeding (haemostasis).
The business is founded on IP generated by Professor Helen Philippou (Professor of Translational Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds) and Dr Richard Foster (Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Leeds), built on a decade of academic research into FXIIa in association with some of the world’s leading supporters of scientific and medical research, including the Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation and the UK’s Medical Research Council. Investors include Epidarex Capital and Mercia Asset Management PLC. LUNAC was the 2020 Start Up of the Year winner at the BioNow awards and is shortlisted for Best Biotech Start Up Award at the upcoming OBN awards.
About Mercia Asset Management PLC
Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group's 'Complete Capital Solution'. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet.
Mercia has a strong UK regional footprint through its eight offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia currently has c.£872million of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested over c.£106million across its direct investment portfolio.
The Group raises its own Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and manages Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) details about open offers can be found through Mercia’s website.
Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic "MERC" and includes the following wholly owned subsidiaries -
Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560
About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF)
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
The NPIF covers the following Local Enterprise Partnershipareas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and assist local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations in: Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb
About Epidarex Capital
Epidarex Capital is a transatlantic venture firm that invests in early-stage, high-growth life science companies in under-ventured markets. Epidarex focuses on providing risk capital and expertise to create, support and build young companies, including spinouts, from leading research institutions in both established and emerging life science hubs. The fund’s international management team has a track record of successfully partnering with top scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market.
About Future Fund
The Future Fund was established to support the UK’s innovative businesses currently affected by Covid-19. These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment.
The Future Fund, now closed to new applications, provides UK-based companies with convertible loans, on the condition that third-party investors at least match the Government’s commitment. The convertible loans are designed to convert into equity at the next qualifying funding round. The Future Fund is developed by government and delivered by the British Business Bank.