£20m investment pledge for deep-tech and life sciences

British Patient Capital has invested £20m in local deep-tech and life sciences businesses, through the Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) Fund.

CIC is a venture investor backing and building category-leading deep tech and life sciences companies. It manages over £1/2 billion and has invested in around 40 companies. CIC is a preferred investor for the University of Cambridge, Europe’s top source of founders for venture-backed start-ups.

The Fund – CIC II – is CIC’s second investment vehicle, and British Patient Capital’s £20m investment forms part of the total fund size of £225m. The new fund will lead, or co-lead, investments in R&D intensive businesses across deep-tech and life sciences which have the potential to become global category leaders. They will predominantly be early-stage companies at their Series A round.

CIC II will invest in businesses with a link to Cambridge, either those with an operational presence in the city, or a connection to the University of Cambridge via an IP license or a founder with strong ties to the university.

British Patient Capital is a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the government’s economic development bank. Its mission is long-term investment in innovative firms with large-scale ambition. It has £2.5bn to invest over 10 years in venture and venture growth capital. The Bank and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and don’t operate as such.

Judith Hartley, CEO of British Patient Capital, said: “British Patient Capital supports UK innovation by backing ambitious entrepreneurs with brilliant, scalable ideas, to help cement the UK’s position as a global science superpower.

“CIC II helps address the funding gap faced by many early-stage life science and deep-tech businesses, by providing the capital they need to grow. The scientific ecosystem around Cambridge, and the University of Cambridge specifically, offers significant opportunities for investors and with this commitment to CIC II, British Patient Capital is supporting the growth and commercialisation of R&D intensive companies linked to the Cambridge ecosystem.”

Andrew Williamson, Managing Partner of CIC, added: “Cambridge UK is one of the fastest-growing science and technology innovation ecosystems in the world. Since our inception, CIC and our co-investors have invested more than £2bn in sectors as diverse as robotics, semiconductors, genomics, gene therapy, therapeutics, liquid biopsy, artificial intelligence, and edge computing. We are delighted to launch our new fund and to work with a dynamic group of entrepreneurs and investors to capture the full potential within the thriving Cambridge ecosystem.”

Microbiotica on global medicine mission

Personalised medicine specialist Microbiotica is backed by CIC and also invested in directly by British Patient Capital as part of a £50m Series B funding round.

The investment, through the Future Fund: Breakthrough £375m programme, co-invests with private sector investors in R&D-intensive UK companies. The round was led by Flerie Invest and Tencent, and also included IP Group and Seventure Partners.

Headquartered at the Chesterford Research Park near Cambridge, Microbiotica has developed technology which uses the body’s trillions of resident bacteria – known as the microbiome – to discover and develop therapeutic medicines and biomarkers for a range of disorders and diseases. Current focus is on cancer immunotherapy and inflammatory bowel disease and the company has established major clinical and academic partnerships in these areas.

Mike Romanos, co-founder and CEO, said: “This major fundraise is a substantial validation of both our team and our world-leading technology. We are fortunate to have support from new and current investors who recognise the importance of the microbiome’s therapeutic potential and Microbiotica’s unique capabilities.

“With this additional investment, we will be able to conduct clinical trials with our lead products in immuno-oncology and ulcerative colitis. We will also expand our portfolio of microbiome-based products which have the potential to benefit patients globally.”

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