Alderley Park, Cheshire
Richard Bell

North West firms secure slice of £45m life sciences fund

A multi-million pound life sciences fund in the North West has sealed investment deals in Manchester and at Alderley Park.

Alderley Park-based cancer therapy business Pronec and Manchester biomedical startup Biorelate received backing from the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund, which is managed by venture capital firm Catapult Ventures.

Since its launch in September last year, the fund has raised over £30m for life sciences businesses in the region, with that figure forecast to hit £45m.

Prof. Hilmar Warenius, co-founder and chief medical officer at Pronec, said: “I’m extremely grateful to Catapult Ventures for recognising the therapeutic potential of Pronec’s different approach to cancer biology.

“I look forward to developing new drugs for the benefit of patients, their families and society.”

The fund’s latest investments mark the next step in a mission to create 7,000 new life sciences jobs in the former AstraZeneca facility at Alderley Park.

Cheshire East Council is part of the partnership team behind the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund.

Cllr Peter Groves, the council’s cabinet member for finance and assets, commented: “This is excellent news for Cheshire East and the wider region. I’m delighted that the fund has successfully completed two seed investments in two very exciting and innovative companies.

“Cancer therapy company Pronec and Biorelate, which provides biomedical knowledge databases, are both recent start-ups that have already made excellent progress.”

He continued: “We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Catapult Ventures to achieve real benefits for companies in Alderley Park and across Cheshire. This is excellent news for the whole region and strong evidence of the Northern Powerhouse in action.”

In November last year, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled plans for a new £4m antibiotics research hub at Alderley Park.

The news follows an announcement earlier this week that Alderley Park-based agrochemical firm Redag Crop Protection Ltd secured a £1.43m boost in its latest fundraising efforts.

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