Videregen Ltd has raised significant investment funding of £1.2m from a consortium led by SPARK Impact1, supported by London Business Angels and other investors. The proceeds will be used for the further development of the company’s lead product for trachea replacement, which is expected to enter clinical trials next year with the aim of being the world’s first commercially available tissue engineered stem cell organ replacement product.
Following its £900,000 investment, Dr Marc d’Abbadie of SPARK Impact, which manages the North West Fund for Biomedical, joins the Board, as does lead angel Dr Robert Hollamby of London Business Angels. In addition to the clinical trial, the funds raised will be used for manufacturing scale-up and corporate development. Following the investment, Videregen has relocated to Liverpool Science Park, where it has recruited new staff to drive the development of its projects.
Videregen is focused on generating new products to address the chronic shortage of organs for transplantation2. Formed in 2011 as a spin-out from Northwick Park Institute of Medical Research, it uses its proprietary technology to produce biological scaffolds to which the patient’s own stem cells are added, creating a bespoke organ replacement. This potentially avoids the problems associated with traditional transplantation methods such as availability of donor organs, compatibility and rejection. The company’s research is initially focused on trachea and bowel disease.
A tracheal replacement consortium led by Videregen was awarded £1.9m by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) last year, for progression of the promising clinical prototype through development and an early clinical trial. The trial will focus on severe structural airway disease, a life-threatening condition whose initial EU/US market is thought to be worth more than £70m pa. The consortium includes the NHS Blood and Transplant centre in Speke, UCL, the Cell Therapy Catapult and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Steve Bloor, CEO of Videregen, said ‘We are delighted to have received strong support from SPARK Impact, London Business Angels and others, and we welcome Marc and Robert to the Board. They join at an exciting time in Videregen’s development, as we progress towards clinical validation of our platform technology.’
Dr Marc d’Abbadie, investment director at SPARK Impact, said, ‘The technology developed by Videregen to make functional organs for transplant is expected to show clear benefits as a potentially globally disruptive form of regenerative medicine. SPARK Impact is proud to be helping it to achieve its ambitions, increase the quality and length of a patient’s life, and reduce healthcare costs’.