NI’s first cell therapy company, VascVersa, has secured a six figure deal

Award winning Queen’s University spin out VascVersa has completed a six-figure deal in its first investment round led by QUBIS.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 1:00 pm
Professor Reinhold Medina, Dr Christina O'Neill, Professor Alan Stitt of VascVersa, Investment Manager at Clarendon Fund Managers Stuart Gaffikin, Head of Spin-Outs and Investments at QUBIS David Moore, CEO of QUBIS Brian McCaul

The commercialisation arm of Queen’s University Belfast, QUBIS, has gained support from Co-Fund NI and a group of angel investors from the Halo and Business Angel Network (HBAN).

The med-tech start-up is pioneering new treatments for vascular regeneration. The investment will allow the company to further develop its ground-breaking technology to repair damaged blood vessels. The technology will stimulate new blood vessel formation leading to improved blood supply and long-term healing.

Cell therapies are at the forefront of medical innovation and are recognised as one of the leading technologies to drive novel treatments. The company’s first target is “non-healing wounds” such as diabetic foot ulcers, which currently cost the NHS over £5 billion a year.

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Christina O’Neill, CEO of VascVersa said: “This recent investment is a significant step for us. I’d like to extend my gratitude to QUBIS in leading the investment round and to the commercialisation team at Queen’s for their invaluable support throughout VascVersa’s development. The funding support from Co-Fund and HBAN has also been invaluable in helping raise a considerable figure in our first round of funding.”

David Moore, Investment Manager at QUBIS, continued: “It has been really encouraging to see VascVersa’s achievements since their market discovery journey on the Innovate UK ICURe programme and their success as Regional Finalists at the Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn competition last year. These new appointments and seed funding success are welcomed milestones for the team and we look forward to seeing their future successes.”

Stuart Gaffikin, Investment Manager at Clarendon Fund Managers, added: “Co-Fund NI is delighted to partner with QUBIS and HBAN angel investors to support this exciting new company in developing its technology to repair damaged blood vessels in non-healing wounds. We look forward to playing our role in helping the company through its early-stage development and hope to see it grow successfully in the near future.”

The company has also appointed industry veteran Aidan Courtney as Chairman. Courtney was previously CEO of Roslin Cells and Censo Biotechnologies and has over 15 years’ experience in early-stage cell therapy companies.

Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I am delighted to be joining Christina and the team at this pivotal stage in the company’s development. The technology which builds on 20 years’ research at Queen’s has the potential to tackle a wide range of conditions for which clinical care is currently both expensive and inadequate. VascVersa has the ambition to develop a new generation of treatments and deliver a profound improvement to the lives of many individuals suffering chronic ill health.”

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