University of Nottingham
How was the deal introduced?
The deal was first brought to Mercia’s attention by Ian Wilding, who is an existing investor in Mercia’s EIS fund. Ian is the Chair of Locate.
What did the company plan to use the initial funds for?
The initial funding was used to continue critical development work on the core technology platforms. This has resulted in extremely interesting data which is gathering attention from across the industry, suggesting that the Locate technology platforms could prove to be revolutionary in the field of cell and gene therapy.
The funding was also used to conduct a thorough executive search, which resulted in the appointment of Nick Staples as CEO and further appointments have been made including the appointment of a finance director. The company has also been able to use the funds to lead a rebrand which has included the launch of a new website and all marcomms.
What progress has the company made since the first investment?
Following investment, the company has significantly strengthened the team and is now able to start conversations with the wider bio-pharma market regarding the potential applications of their core technologies in a range of therapeutic areas. The data produced following the funding round started from the bed-rock of a high-value IP generating businesses, with the potential to undertake lucrative licensing deals with third parties. Key achievements in IP development include producing more data on the IntraStemTM technology, such as a third-party validation by independent academic institutions who will shortly be publishing a peer-reviewed research paper demonstrating the clear technical advantage that Locate has over any other competitors.
The Mercia Effect
What have we been able to do for this company as a result of our involvement?
Mercia has supported the team by working actively with them to identify key hiring needs, including the profile of a new CEO. We have also supported the business in exploring the potential commercial applications of their technology through introductions to potential blue-chip partners. The overall impact has been to elevate the strategic direction of the business and empower the management team to start to build a globally unique and potentially extremely valuable IP-driven cell and gene therapy business.
“The transition from R&D to commercialisation for a life sciences business requires a funder with an eye for the commercial opportunity, a long term investment horizon and a desire to work with the business to achieve its goals – Mercia has proven to be an amazing partner on all fronts and we are looking forward to greater successes over the coming years as a result of their support.”Dr Ian Wilding, Locate Bio