Liverpool ChiroChem (LCC) produces and supplies small organic molecules for biotech/pharmaceutical R&D worldwide. The £595,492 raised through LCC's SyndicateRoom round is intended to help the company expand its portfolio of specialist chemical products.
There has been the demand for chirally pure chemicals for use in drugs since the Thalidomide tragedy of the 1950s–60s, which resulted in severe birth defects in thousands of children.
Existing methods of creating such chemicals are very expensive and time-consuming. In fact, making use of incumbent technologies, there are upwards of ten separate stages required to achieve the purity needed for research and development.
LCC is the only company whose methods create the exceptionally pure chemical form in just three steps – a much cheaper, faster solution. LCC is optimised to supply low volumes in short lead times and can retain more than a 70% gross margin on its products.
The company is headed up by Dr Jianjun Wu, CEO, and Jianliang Xiao, Co-founder and Chairman. Dr Jianjun co-founded Shanghai Bocchem in 2007, and managed its growth to profitability and achieved an annual turnover of >£2m within just 18 months. In 2014 his chirality work was shortlisted for the Bionow Promising Technologist of the Year Award.
Jianliang Xiao has had a fruitful history of R&D collaborations with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. Jianliang received a prize for Process Chemistry Research from the Society of Chemistry and Industry in 2008.
LCC's SyndicateRoom round was led by Deepbridge Advisers Ltd, a corporate and investment advisory business with proven operational, financial and management credentials.
Where are they now?
At the time of its SyndicateRoom raise, LCC had already achieved initial sales into three pharmaceutical companies – Charles River, Redx oncology and Redx Anti-Infectives – and two academic institutions: the University of Liverpool and Uppsala University.
In June 2018 LCC was shortlisted for the UK Business Angels Association Awards in the category of Best Angel-VC Scale-Up Investment.