In April 2014, synthetic molecule business Apta Biosciences successfully raised £1,850,000 to continue undergoing validation work with partners for therapeutics. The business completed its second round of funding in August 2015, raising £964,550 to support product development for its new generation of special molecules.
Apta produces Adaptamers; molecules that have much in common with antibodies, but offer a better performance because of their ease to make and use. Most of us probably don’t think about antibodies too often, but we have a lot to thank them for: our own natural antibodies help us to fight viruses and dangerous bacteria every single day. This is clearly reflected by the market for antibodies and their alternatives, which is deemed to be worth an impressive $60bn p.a.
Apta has created a new generation of synthetic molecules called Seligos. Seligos are a kind of affinity reagent, which bind to specifically targeted cells in order to identify, track, capture and influence their activity to identify and treat diseases.
Apta Biosciences is headed up by a team of experienced life sciences entrepreneurs. The company was spun-out from Fujitsu in August 2013, where the technology was worked on for more than ten years.
The team was recently joined by Harvard academic and investor Professor Teo Forcht-Dagi, now Executive Director, whose fund has returned a staggering $6bn from $17m invested in 11 early-stage companies.
The lead investors
Apta's first round was led by Ranworth Capital, a UK family office with a life sciences focus. The second round was led by The Danish Business Angel Fund – a consortium of business angels comprising members of Business Angels Copenhagen, as well as senior executives from the life science industry (including biotech), successful entrepreneurs and company builders.