DefiniGEN Ltd has announced the final closing of its Series A funding round. The latest £1 million ($1.6 million) placement for ordinary shares brings to a close a cumulative total for the round of £2.28 million ($3.83 million), which will support the international expansion of the business and the commercial launch of new products.
The funding round was led by Cambridge Enterprise and 24 Haymarket, with existing investors Dr. Jonathan Milner, CEO, Abcam Plc, Providence Investment Company, and Cambridge Capital Group also participating. New investors include LBA, Wren Capital, and Ranworth Capital.
This latest funding will be used to drive profitable growth across four key areas:
• expansion of direct commercial presence across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific with dedicated local marketing presence
• investment in automation at the Company’s enlarged laboratory facility and recruitment of high quality production staff
• expansion of product line offerings in new areas including human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived hepatocyte types, pancreatic beta cells and lung cells, with others to follow
• strengthening of the Company’s intellectual property portfolio
DefiniGEN is focused on serving the growing need in the pharmaceutical industry for more accurate predictions of efficacy and toxicity in drug candidates ahead of clinical trials. Its platform technology OptiDIFF is a revolutionary stem cell production platform for the generation of high-functionality cell types including, liver, pancreatic and lung cells.
These cells can be used as predictive in vitro models to support the development of safer and more effective treatments for diseases. Since its foundation in April 2012 DefiniGEN has undergone rapid growth, generating first sales within six months of seed investment and securing contracts with global pharma companies.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Marcus Yeo, CEO of DefiniGEN, said: “We are at an exciting inflexion point in the development of human induced pluripotent stem cell technology. The funds raised will allow the rapid development of libraries of human cells customized for genetic and ethnic profiles for drug discovery and regenerative applications. These advances are generating substantial interest from global pharma.”
Marek Gumienny, Lead Investor, 24 Haymarket, and formerly Chairman of Candover Partners Ltd, said: “DefiniGEN is a dynamic innovative company with a business model that can harness the huge potential of stem cell technology. Stem cells have the power to revolutionize healthcare, radically improve the efficiency and economics of drug development and enable personalized regenerative medicine to become a reality.”