Liverpool Uni spin-out raises £1.5m to build Chinese chemicals facility
Chemical intermediates company Liverpool ChiroChem (LCC) has raised £1.5m in equity finance to drive its growth plans and ramp up production capacity overseas.
Praetura Capital and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) led the fundraise, which had support from longstanding investor Deepbridge Capital.
LCC, originally a spin-out of Liverpool University, is able to produce pure chemical forms through its own patented technology.
Incorporated three years ago, the company has already established itself within the pharmaceutical and drug discovery supply chain.
It now boasts more than 70 clients across the pharma, biotech and agrochemicals sectors, including Merck, Domainex, Novartis, Bayer and Syngenta.
LCC will use the cash to fulfil the demands of a growing worldwide customer base by expanding its R&D and sales teams in the UK.
The company will also increase production capacity by building a new facility on the China Medical City National Science Park, located in the city of Taizhou in Jiangsu Province.
The purpose-built site will replace LCC’s existing production facility in Jiangsu Province.
LCC chief exec Dr Paul Colbon said: “This latest funding round marks the beginning of the next stage of growth and progression for the company.
“LCC’s continued investment into cutting-edge R&D has led to the successful development of an IP pipeline that can now be fully exploited by a world-leading production facility being developed in China. Deepbridge have supported the business from inception.
He added: “Their continued support along with the backing of new investors in Praetura and NPIF will ensure the Company has everything it needs to be a leading supplier within the growing marketplace of specialist chemicals for drug discovery and development.”
As part of the fundraise, Praetura managing partner Mike Fletcher has joined the LCC board as a non-executive director.
Mike Fletcher commented: “We are delighted to be supporting LCC, an exciting growth stage company led by a talented, passionate and entrepreneurially focused management team.
“The company’s proven operating model and proprietary technologies make it a potentially highly disruptive business, working in a transformative area of drug discovery. I look forward to working with Paul and the team and supporting the company in the follow-on fundraise later this year.”
Deepbridge’s head of life sciences, Dr. Savvas Neophytou, said: “I have seen LCC make considerable progress over the past three years, from a start-up to a company already competing on a global scale with established customers and revenue streams.
“I’m greatly encouraged by their future plans and expansion in China, and I am looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in the coming year.”
LCC plans to undertake another fundraising later this year to expand its workforce further and develop its product library.
Prior to the latest investment, LCC had so far raised £1.1m private equity through VCs and angel investors.
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