Medtech spin-out raises £1.2m for growth plans

Dr Philippe Jenny

A spin-out company from the University of Manchester has raised £1.2m in funding as part of its growth strategy.

Medtech start-up Gelmetix was founded from a research programme at the university.

Led by spine surgeon Dr Philippe Jenny, the company has previously received grants funding from Innovate UK, the Government’s innovation agency.

The latest investment was through the equity crowdfunding website SyndicateRoom, as part of a larger Series B round.

Latest figures claim that 4.1 million working days are lost in the UK each year due to back pain, accounting for 7% of all GP visits.

Gelmetix has developed a high-tech gel that can be simply delivered via a non-invasive procedure into the gaps left by degenerating discs to help restore functionality and relieve lower back pain.

The company has offices in Manchester, London and Paris.

The funding round was led by angel investor Jonathan Milner, one of the UK’s most successful biotech entrepreneurs and founder of life science company Abcam.

Speaking about Gelmetix, he said: “Gelmetix is pursuing such a huge and poorly-served market in chronic lower back pain (CLBP).

“It is the single leading cause of disability worldwide and results in a significant financial burden on all ’developed’ economies.

“Currently no minimally invasive solution exists that re-establishes mobility on the continuum between early and late stages of the disease.

“This is where Gelmetix, with its differentiated technology and a fantastic team, aim to make an impact in human health.”

Dr Philippe Jenny, Gelmetix chief executive, said: “We’re delighted with the successful outcome of this fund raise and by the ‘endorsement’ received from more than a hundred investors.

“We’re now going to use the funds for completing the readiness of the Lower Back Pain product prior to its commercial launch and support the pre-clinical work of our two next gels.”

He added: “We have chosen to raise with SyndicateRoom because of their professionalism and track record of successful raises in relation with the quality of the network of private investors.”

SyndicateRoom co-founder, Tom Britton, said: “It’s incredible to think that with all of the advancements in technology and medicine over the last 100 years we’ve not found better ways of treating back pain which so many of us accept as the norm.

“Gelmetix solution offers hope that a less risky, less invasive solution is possible and we are delighted our investors and fund are able to play a part in their journey.”

Eligible investors in Gelmetix will receive 30% income tax relief on their investment, in addition to a number of other tax reliefs that are part of the Government-backed Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Launched in September 2013, SyndicateRoom is an online investment platform which has helped more than 140 early-stage UK businesses secure in excess of £140m in funding through its investor-led equity crowdfunding model.