A University of Liverpool spin-out business has raised £770,000, mostly from private investors, to fund its future development.
The money has been raised by Liverpool Chirochem (LCC), a business that was set up last year by academics from the university’s chemistry department.
LCC designs and makes specialist molecules used by pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. The firm will be using the money to fund what it calls its ambitious growth plans and overseas operations.
More than £500,000 has been raised from private business angels and venture capital companies in the UK.
The rest of the cash has been given to the company as a grant from China, where the company is in the process of establishing a unique chemical analytics centre in the city of Taizhou, just outside Shanghai, known as “China’s Medical City”.
LCC was founded in 2014 by former PhD students Dr Jianjun Wu and Dr Paul Colbon, a senior research fellow, Dr Jiwu Ruan and Professor Jianliang Xiao, all from the university’s department of chemistry.
LCC raised its money through Syndicate Room, an online crowdfunding service which has invested more than £38m in a variety of firms to date.
LCC says it has devised faster and cheaper methods of producing purer chemicals used in medical research.
Clients include Liverpool-based Redx Pharma, which is looking to develop new treatments for cancer.
Chester-based corporate finance firm Deepbridge Advisers assisted LCC with raising the money and the University of Liverpool’s in-house patent team, Liverpool IP, helped secure the intellectual property rights.
Professor Xiao, who has previously worked on collaborative projects with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, 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.
“While 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.”
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.”
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