Bio-tech spin-out raises £770k

A UNIVERSITY spin out company which produces small organic molecules for pharmaceutical research and development, has raised more than £700,000 to boost growth.

Liverpool Chirochem (LCC), a spin-out in July 2014 from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Chemistry, has raised £770,000 from a consortium of investors in this country and China.

The UK investors, which include private angel investors, angel investors from the Syndicate Room network and two venture capital companies, one of which is Deepbridge Capital, have provided £500,000, while it has received a grant of more than £200,0000 from a Chinese organisation for it to establish a chemical analytics centre in the city of Taizhou, just outside Shanghai.
The venture was founded by former PhD students Dr Jianjun Wu and Dr Paul Colbon, senior research fellow D. Jiwu Ruan and Professor Jianliang Xiao.

The University’s intellectual property team secured a patent application on the technology, which it has exclusively licensed to LCC, and  it has also worked with the business to support the exploitation of the technology.

Dr Wu said: “We are fortunate because of the supporting and entrepreneurial atmosphere of the University’s Chemistry Department and the business opportunities created by our strong Liverpool-China links. With these investments, which are critical for our R&D and commercialisation, it is now time to concentrate on the chemistry and business development.”

Paul Colbon added: “Liverpool IP have been strongly supportive throughout the process of the company’s formation and have passed on their experience and expertise whenever possible.”

Professor Xiao said:  “This initial success is a very good example of how leading academic research in the Department of Chemistry can be commercialised, contributing to UK Plc and creating an impact. Whilst there is still a long way to go before LCC establishes itself as a leading player in the area of advanced manufacturing and healthcare technologies, the road for a bright future has been opened up.”