Locate Bio is developing new treatments for patients with acute spinal conditions, It has completed a £2.25m funding round led by Mercia Asset Management to help continue its ground-breaking research and bring its first products to market.
FREMONT, CA: Locate Bio has secured the investment from Mercias's 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 the Future Fund. Combined with earlier funding rounds from Mercia and MEIF, it has raised over £8m.
Locate Bio's first product that is at the pre-clinical development stage, will enable the patients who need spinal fusion surgery, where bones are permanently joined to overcome low back pain. It utilizes a kind of bone protein to mitigate the need for a bone graft. Its other therapy will be for the biological renewal of the intervertebral discs. It will help those suffering from degenerative disc disease, which is a painful condition that affects 33 million people in the EU and the US.
Locate Bio is a spin-out from the University of Nottingham and established on the research of Professor Kevin Shakesheff, a world-leading expert in regenerative medicine. The company initially started as a contract research organization and first received investment from Mercia in 2018.
John von Benecke, CEO of Locate, says, "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."
Dr. Ian Wilding, Chairman of Locate, said, "This investment comes at an important time for the company as it enters an exciting phase. Despite the uncertainty and disruption that COVID-19 has brought to so many industries, the Locate team have relentlessly executed against its aggressive timelines and the additional funding announced today is a welcome validation of the progress that has been made."
Peter Dines, Chief Operating Officer of Mercia, states, "We are very pleased to continue to support John and the team at Locate. Their lead product has the potential to disrupt a $3bn market, and we remain excited by the prospect of helping to build a world-leading business."
Ken Cooper Managing Director, British Business Bank, added, "We are pleased that the MEIF Proof of Concept fund has been able to support further investment into Locate Bio. Along with the banks other programmes the MEIF funds are investing to support SMEs in the region and are still very much open for business. This second round of funding recognises a business which has continued to make good progress despite the difficulties caused by Covid 19."