Clyde Biosciences Ltd. (Clyde Biosciences) has announced a £2 million ‘Series A’ investment led by Epidarex Capital, a leading international early-stage life science venture capital fund. Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm, the Scottish Investment Bank, also participated in the round along with Glasgow University Holdings, Ltd.
Clyde Biosciences, a spin-out company from the University of Glasgow, has developed a pioneering technology to evaluate drug toxicity for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Clyde Biosciences is developing the CellOPTIQ optical action potential assay to address major unmet needs in testing cardiotoxicity risk in both new and existing drugs. Clyde Biosciences’ initial customers include several top 10 global pharmaceutical companies.
Clyde Biosciences’ unique approach utilises induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to mimic cardiomyocyte activity and measure action potential features which are important indicators of cardiotoxicity. Changes in action potential are visualised using voltage-sensitive dyes (VSDs) and are measured and analysed on tissue culture plates using Clyde’s proprietary software. CellOPTIQ is currently being evaluated by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) through its Comprehensive In Vitro Proarrhythmia (“CiPA”) programme; an initiative to facilitate the adoption of a new paradigm for cardiotoxicity screening of clinical candidates.
Clyde Biosciences’ initial focus is on testing for cardiotoxicity risk, however the technology platform is also applicable to a broader range of risk factors. As a result, Clyde Biosciences’ approach has the potential to significantly improve the safety profile of both existing and new pharmaceutical products that will become available to patients in the future.
Clyde Biosciences’ core technology is based upon the world-class translational research developed at the University of Glasgow. The company’s founders include Dr. Margaret Anne Craig, Professor Godfrey Smith, Dr. Francis Burton and Professor Jon Cooper, all of the University of Glasgow. Mr. Chris Wardhaugh will also be joining the Clyde executive team. He most recently held a senior role at a major international Contract Research Organisation.
Epidarex Capital’s close partnership with the University of Glasgow is typical of its investment model of providing early-stage risk capital to top researchers and entrepreneurs who are developing highly innovative solutions for the global healthcare market.
Dr. Margaret Anne Craig, Co-founder and CEO of Clyde Biosciences, said: “Since its inception, Clyde Biosciences has been working hard to meet our clients’ needs in improving outcomes in drug development. This investment, led by Epidarex Capital, will help propel Clyde Biosciences to a new level, allowing us to strengthen our team, reinforce our commercial offering and broaden our geographic reach. We welcome the support of our investment partners and look forward to an exciting future.”
Sinclair Dunlop, Managing Partner at Epidarex Capital, said: “Clyde Biosciences’ unique technology is already improving the safety profile of drug candidates being developed by both small and large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Clyde Biosciences’ novel approach will benefit patients by improving the safety profile of new drugs coming onto the market. The company’s early success is a great credit to its founders and to the world class research being conducted at the University of Glasgow.”
Professor Jon Cooper, Vice-Principal of Knowledge Exchange and Innovation at the University of Glasgow, said: “This is an important investment for Clyde Biosciences as it will enable the company to develop into international markets - providing tremendous opportunities for growth. The investment is also testament to the significant amount of work that the business, academic and commercial teams have all put into developing the company as an exciting and innovative University spin-out.“
About Epidarex Capital
Epidarex Capital invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies in the UK and US. Epidarex was created to meet the need for more sector-specific risk capital for young companies, including spin-outs from leading research universities. Epidarex has formed partnerships with leading life science universities in the UK, including the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow and King’s College London. The fund’s international management team, led by Sinclair Dunlop, Kyp Sirinakis, Liz Roper and Pete Finan, has a track record of successfully partnering with top scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market. For further information please visit www.epidarex.com
About Clyde Biosciences
Clyde Biosciences is a spin out company from Glasgow University’s College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences. Founded in 2012, the company has already worked with several of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies and counts the top global stem cell companies among its business partners. Clyde Bioscience’s mission is to improve success in its customers’ drug discovery processes by providing superior data and service. The Company’s founders include Dr. Margaret Anne Craig, Professor Godfrey Smith and Dr. Francis Burton each of whom is a respected leader in their fields. For more information see www.clydebiosciences.com
About University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow has been inspiring people to change the world for over 550 years and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities. As a world top 100 university with annual research income of more than £181m and overall student satisfaction rate of 91%, the University of Glasgow is committed to delivering world class research at the same time as the highest standards of teaching and education. The University’s Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education last year.
About Scottish Investment Bank
The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It manages a suite of funds including the Scottish Seed Fund, the Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, which are partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Scottish Plastics Loan Fund and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund. SIB is also the cornerstone investor in the privately-managed Scottish Loan Fund and a Limited Partner in Epidarex Capital. These Funds support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to capital. SIB also provides a team of financial readiness specialists to help companies prepare for new investment and more easily access finance.