Business and Innovation Projects. Funding. News - 12 August 2020

Health sciences firm secures £2.25m from Midlands Engine Investment Fund

Locate Bio, which is developing new treatments for patients with serious spinal conditions has completed a £2.25m funding round led by Mercia Asset Management to help to continue its research and bring its first products to market.

Locate Bio, based in Nottingham’s MediCity, has secured the investment from Mercia’s own balance sheet, its EIS fund, and the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and the Future Fund.

Together with earlier funding rounds from Mercia and MEIF, it brings the total raised by the Nottingham-based company to over £8m.

Locate Bio’s first product, which is at the pre-clinical development stage, will help patients who require spinal fusion surgery, where bones are permanently joined together to overcome low back pain.

It uses a type of bone protein to remove the need for a bone graft. Its second therapy will be for the biological renewal of the intervertebral discs and will help those suffering from degenerative disc disease, a painful condition affecting 33 million people in the US and EU.

Locate Bio is a spin-out from the University of Nottingham and based on the research of Professor Kevin Shakesheff, a world-leading expert in regenerative medicine.

The company, which initially started out as a contract research organisation, first received investment from Mercia in 2018.

John von Benecke, CEO of Locate, said: “I am delighted by the continued support of our lead investor. This investment will allow us to maintain the excellent progress with our lead product and further the development of a pipeline of synergistic products.”

Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

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.

The MEIF is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Ltd.

It provides a range of affordable financial products to small and medium-sized businesses (SME) across the D2N2 region such as Small Business Loans, Debt, Equity and Proof of Concept funds to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions.

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.

European Regional Development Fund

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