THE North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by Liverpool-based SPARK Impact, has passed the £10m investment mark in small firms across a range of biomedical areas including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics.
Two recent investments of £125,000 in back therapy device company LumbaCurve and £250,000 in Oxtox, which has developed a drug detection device intended for use by police officers, have seen the fund reach this latest milestone, just two years after its launch in December 2010.
Other investments which helped SPARK Impact reach the £10m mark include follow-on funding to four companies; £200,100 to biomedical software firm Compliance Control, £120,000 to urology company Albert Medical Devices, £100,000 to medical device firm Westco Medical Limited and £100,000 to drug discovery spin-out company Onco-NX.
Since it started, SPARK Impact, based at Liverpool Science Park, has invested in 31 companies across the North West.
Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact, said: “Since the inception of the fund we have set out to find the most promising, innovative businesses and individuals whose work has the potential to make a real impact on the biomedical industry.
“In that time, we have discovered an impressive level of talent in the region beyond our expectations, while we have also been able to attract some high calibre businesses to the North West.
“This is an important milestone for us as it shows how effective The North West Fund for Biomedical can be in stimulating the regional economy.
“However, with more than half of our funding potential still to be realised, we know there are many more opportunities to be unearthed and we already have a number of future investments in the pipeline.”
The North West Fund for Biomedical is part of the wider £155m North West Fund, which comprises six sub-funds, including three specialist funds.
The North West Fund was established to provide debt and equity funding to small firms based in, or relocating to, the region.
It is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and European Investment Bank under the European Commission’s Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises Initiative, known as JEREMIE.