News - 19 July 2021

Biotech firm that ‘could revolutionise woundcare’ secures £1.8m

A biotech company with a product that helps to heal eye injuries and could revolutionise treatment of other wounds has raised a further £1.8m.

Nottingham-based NuVision Biotherapies  has secured funding from the MEIF Proof of Concept and Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, Mercia’s EIS funds, Newable Ventures and private investors.

The latest funding round – the fourth to date – brings the total raised by the company to almost £5m and will allow it to expand sales and carry out further clinical trials in the run-up to a Series A investment in 2022.

NuVision’s technology harnesses the healing properties of amniotic membrane, the sac that surrounds babies in the womb and is normally discarded at birth. Created using its proprietary manufacturing process, its first product Omnigen is already used in eye surgery to help heal wounds faster.

The company’s latest innovation, OmniLenz, is a ‘bandage contact lens’ which allows Omnigen to be applied without surgery in outpatient clinics to treat a wider range of conditions. It is currently being trialled by Aston University for use in dry eye disease, which affects over 5 million people in the UK and is the most common cause of visits to eye care practitioners.

NuVision’s technology also has potential to treat other wounds, in particular diabetic foot ulcers, which are a growing problem that affects over 10 million people worldwide. NuVision, a University of Nottingham spin-out company, was founded in 2015 by its CSO, Dr Andy Hopkinson, to commercialise his research.

Gearing up for future growth

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at the British Business Bank, said: “We’re delighted to see this latest round of investment, with continued support from the MEIF, enabling another business in the region to gear up for future growth. Now more than ever, the MEIF is ready to fund Midlands small businesses as they drive the region’s economic recovery and we’d encourage any businesses seeking investment to look at the options available through the fund.”

Sajeeda Rose, Chief Executive of the D2N2 LEP, said: “I’m pleased to see continued investment by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund in key and growing sectors in the region, which will support our economic recovery and growth. This investment will support NuVision’s long-term ambition and grow its pioneering technology for wider use in the healthcare market which is a priority sector for the D2N2 region.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund provides over £250m of investment to boost SME growth in the Midlands Engine Investment Fund area. The D2N2 ERDF contribution to MEIF is £11.75m.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The scheme ended on 31 March and has been replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the West Midlands and East Midlands.

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