Tag: life sciences

Corporate Team completes £10m Series B fundraising for long-standing client

February 4, 2021, By
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Our Corporate team has worked closely with Blueberry Therapeutics for a decade. The most recent transaction is an extension to its Series B fundraising with investment from Medical Incubator Japan and US Dermatology Syndicate.

The Client

Blueberry Therapeutics is a dermatology-focused drug discovery and development company focused on developing innovative nanomedicines for difficult to treat diseases of the skin and nail, with a lead candidate in Phase II development.

This recent fundraise is partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected clinical trials globally, but primarily because of a series of pre-clinical successes during 2020, which have broadened the company’s drug portfolio. Blueberry Therapeutics will use the Series B extension proceeds to continue its development programme for BB2603 for the treatment of onychomycosis, a fungal infection.

BB2603 uses nanotechnology to greatly enhance delivery of medicine and is now in Phase II clinical development. This new method of drug delivery will provide efficient results with a smaller dose that can avoid systemic side effects and patient monitoring requirements of oral administration of the drug.

The additional funding supports completion of the Phase II dose-finding study, ahead of Phase III clinical development in the US and EU for the treatment of onychomycosis.

Investment and Series B Fundraising

Medical Incubator Japan (MIJ) is an independent healthcare-focused venture capital company aimed at investing in early-stage life sciences companies across a broad range of innovations including drug discovery, digital health and medical devices. Its second fund launched in the summer of 2020, focusing on investments both in Japan and overseas.

Through its partnership with Bamburgh Capital, MIJ is particularly focused on identifying investment opportunities in the UK and its compelling opportunities to invest in innovative companies opening up world-class science, and supported by collaborative, informed and influential ecosystems. Japan is the third largest healthcare market in the world and MIJ will be able to help Blueberry Therapeutics access this important market.

“We are very pleased to be a shareholder in Blueberry Therapeutics and to be able to support the management team in its quest to deliver high value innovative medicines for patients suffering from a range of dermatological disorders, and we look forward to collaborating in the development of the Company’s products.” – Mr. Jun Katsura, President and Co-CEO of MIJ

“The team and I were impressed with the Blueberry approach and felt that the Blueberry technology was compelling enough to invest our own money in developing it further. BB2603 addresses a clinical problem that we have struggled to treat effectively for decades.” – Dr Omar Ibrahimi, Founding Medical Director at the Connecticut Skin Institute

“I am delighted to have MIJ, and Omar and syndicate as investors and I very much look forward to working with them on our plans for Japan and the US. This funding extension not only enables us to progress our main onychomycosis programme to the next stages of development, but it also enhances our relationships in the critically important Japanese and US markets” – Dr. John Ridden, Chief Executive Officer of Blueberry Therapeutics

Our input

In the ten years that we have been working with Blueberry Therapeutics, our team has advised the company with regard to its acquisition of certain assets from AstraZeneca and its subsequent fundraising activities. The team that worked on the transaction were Simon WallworkRhian OwenMark WarburtonSophie Fleetwood and Marie Readey.

Simon and Rhian are established specialists in life sciences and have a wealth of connections across the North West, namely Alderley Park, where Blueberry Therapeutics is based, and Sci Tech Daresbury.

If you have any questions or queries you’d like to talk through with our team, you can call us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form and one of the team will be in touch.

British start-up concludes £130,000 crowdfunding to develop smart tech for asthma sufferers

October 28, 2020, By
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British digital health start-up Clin-e-cal has concluded a raise of over £130,000 with leading crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to fund the commercialisation and scale-up of its smart inhaler monitoring technology. The Crowdcube completion was concluded on 26th October 2020, and was handled by Rhian Owen of Slater Heelis Solicitors.

Clin-e-cal’s smartphone apps use unique SoundResponse® technology, which analyses sound signals associated with the inhaler device. The apps then use these sound signals to provide real-time visual feedback to users on their inhalation technique, as well as tracking their adherence.

“It is fantastic to have received such great support from the crowd, we exceeded our original funding target by more than 250%. This funding will allow us to move forward with the scale-up of our existing Rafi-Tone smartphone app, and to commercialise our new Clip-Tone app technology to help adults with asthma and other respiratory diseases. We believe that our technology can make a huge difference to both inhaler technique and respiratory disease outcomes, and it is very exciting to be able to move forwards and make our technology available to more people across the world.”

– Dr Elizabeth Crawford, CEO, Clin-e-cal

Why this new tech?

Improving inhaler technique has long been highlighted as a key way to reduce serious asthma complications and deaths. The UK has some of the worst asthma death rates in Europe, and three people in the UK die from an asthma attack every day. A recent report into asthma deaths in the UK also found that 22% of people in the study were not using their inhaler correctly.

Clin-e-cal’s Rafi-Tone app, launched in 2016, is the first technology-based solution to address the distress and panic that many children feel when taking their inhaler medication. The app was originally developed by a University of Manchester academic, Professor Tariq Aslam, to help his son, Rafi, by using specially designed games and cartoons to encourage and monitor correct inhaler technique. Rafi Robot, the star of the app, helps to engage the child whilst promoting effective inhaler technique through a series of fun games.

Clin-e-cal has also developed its Clip-Tone app, in partnership with leading medical device manufacturers, to help adults to monitor and improve their inhaler technique. Clip-Tone consists of a low-cost attachment, which clips to the top of an inhaler and generates a gentle whistling sound when the inhaler is used, and the Clip-Tone Buddy smartphone app. A study presented at the European Respiratory Society conference in September 2020 shows that the Clip-Tone® smart inhaler technology is helpful for inhaler users, and guides them to improve their inhaler technique.

Life sciences expertise

Our Corporate team has a strong background in life sciences and has significant experience of acting for clients during the life cycle of a company within the sector, from early stage start up, through funding rounds, R&D, commercialisation, IPO or sale. If you require legal guidance in respect of your life sciences business, talk to us and see how we can support you through the journey.

You can call us on 0161 969 3131 or provide some further information on our contact form and we will be in touch.