14th November 2022, Durham, UK
Magnitude Biosciences Limited, a specialist provider of C. elegans research services to the longevity, nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical industries, has closed a fourth round of investment to accelerate the scaling of its business.
A total investment of £500,000 will be made by longstanding investors the North East (ERDF) Innovation Fund Limited Partnership, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures Limited, and Saker Capital LLP. The Company’s earlier loans totalling £250,000 from the Government's Future Fund, Saker Capital and Northstar Ventures have also been converted as part of this investment round.
The investment has been made in response to rapidly growing customer demand for Magnitude Biosciences’ services. The new funding will enable Magnitude to expand its research facilities, invest in the automation of key processes and grow the scientific, sales and operational teams.
Magnitude Biosciences is poised to benefit from the growth and significant investment in anti-ageing and longevity companies and the growing recognition that C. elegans (a nematode worm) is an ideal organism in which to rapidly identify compounds that could extend life. The testing services are very cost effective and the output from experiments can be provided in as little as 2 weeks and provide a wealth of experimental data that provide rich insights including not just a compound’s efficacy, but also its mode of action and potential toxicity. The Company’s co-founder and CSO, Dr David Weinkove, is internationally known for his expertise in this field and provides invaluable scientific input to customers wishing to screen their compounds.
The investment follows the appointment of Dr Fozia Saleem as CEO of Magnitude Biosciences in October 2022. She brings with her a wealth of management experience in the global life sciences sector in R&D, CRO and GTM environments. Dr Saleem commented that ‘the benefits of using C. elegans to screen compounds for their effects on ageing, age-related diseases, and for toxicity, is becoming recognised across a range of industries as a more ethical, less expensive, and faster means of generating in vivo preclinical data to support lead selection. I am excited to be leading Magnitude Biosciences on the next stage of its journey.’
Magnitude Biosciences’ Chair, Dr Sally Waterman, commented: ‘This further investment from Northstar Ventures and Saker Capital will enable us to increase our capacity to work with companies who are developing new therapies and health supplements which could help us have a longer and healthier life. The success of the Company so far is a testament to the commitment and expertise of our team and would not have happened without the continued support of our investors’.
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 eligible companies with convertible loans, on the condition that private 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 the government and delivered by the British Business Bank.
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