A university spin-out which has developed a device that provides early diagnosis and monitoring of Parkinson’s disease has raised £1.6m to help bring it to market.

SERG Technologies has secured investment from Mercia, Velocity Partners, Newable, the Imperial College Innovation Fund,  a leading Japanese corporation and private investors. The funding will help the business to achieve regulatory approval to launch the system in the UK and US, and work on a potential treatment.

Parkinson’s disease, which affects around 10 million people, is the world’s fastest growing neurological condition, and costs over $70bn a year to treat. It is usually diagnosed by neurologists observing the main symptoms – stiffness of the limbs, tremor and slowness of movement. SERG’s technology, which uses acoustic sensors to detect movement and assess the state of the patient’s muscles, provides a more objective way to identify the symptoms and measure the severity.

Its NuRO platform could not only provide early diagnosis, but also be used for continuous monitoring of patients to help doctors to manage their disease more effectively.There is also potential to use the devices to deliver electrical stimulation of the patient’s muscles to help relieve the symptoms.

SERG was founded in 2019 by Dr Ravi Vaidyanathan and Dr Sam Wilson, based on their research at Imperial College, London. The London-based company raised £450,000 from Velocity Partners and angel investors in the same year to develop the initial platform and begin clinical trials.

Over 100 patients have taken part so far, including the former BBC technology correspondent and Parkinson’s patient Rory Cellan-Jones, with initial results providing positive data. The company has also won a total of £1.5m to date in grant funding.

Dr Christos Kapatos, the company’s CEO (pictured), said: “More people are being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and increasingly at a younger age. The disease is incurable, debilitating and expensive to treat. Our connected platform enables remote, patient-specific assessment of all motor symptoms and delivers actionable insights that optimise treatment and promote lifestyle changes, thus increasing patient mobility and independence. Our vision is to enable people with Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases and movement disorders to live healthier lives.”

Mercia invested from its EIS funds. Rob Bennett of Mercia said: “One of the current frustrations in treating Parkinson’s disease is that patients are assessed on their symptoms, with a lack of objective data. While there are powerful drugs that can ease the symptoms, it is difficult for doctors to get the right dose or develop better treatments because there is no effective ‘yardstick’ to measure patients’ condition. SERG’s technology could transform treatment by unlocking insights into the disease by providing real-time, continuous feedback.”

 

 

Mercia Asset Management PLC, the proactive, regionally focused specialist asset manager with c.£959million of assets under management (“AuM”) is pleased to announce its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2022.

We provided a live management presentation and Q&A, presented by Dr Mark Payton, Chief Executive Officer, Martin Glanfield, Chief Financial Officer and Julian Viggars, Chief Investment Officer.

 

Read the full RNS here
Visit our Prelims 2022 area here

 

Mercia Asset Management PLC, the proactive, regionally focused specialist asset manager with c.£959million of assets under management (“AuM”) is pleased to announce its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2022.

Highlights

  • Adjusted operating profit up c.152% to £8.4million (2021: £3.3million)
  • Realised gains and finance income totalling £12.2million generated from the sale of Faradion
  • £11.4m fair value movement in direct investments, including fair value uplift of £6.7million in nDreams following significant third-party investment
  • Profit before taxation of £27.4million (2021: £34.0million)
  • Proposed final dividend up c.67% to 0.5 pence per share (2021: 0.3 pence per share)
  • Net assets of £200.6million (2021: 176.0million)
  • Net Assets per share up c.14% to 45.6 pence (2021: 40.0 pence)
  • Cash and short-term liquidity investments of £61.3million (2021: £54.7million)

Managed fund developments

  • Third-party funds under management (“FuM”) of c.£758million (2021: c.£764million) contributed £19.5million in revenue, excluding performance fees, for the year (2021: £18.2million)
  • Cash returned to fund investors from successful realisations of c.£87million (2021: c.£27million)
  • Venture FuM c.£592million (2021: c.£600million)
    • £15.7million successfully raised across three Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) funds during the year
    • c.£15million additional allocation from British Business Bank under the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund Equity mandate, with effect from 1 November 2021
    • Interim and final dividends totalling £17.0million paid by the three Northern Venture Capital Trusts (“VCTs”), in addition to special dividends paid of £20.8million arising from successful realisations
  • Private equity FuM c.£48million (2021: c.£54million)
    • Portfolio trading and prospects improving post pandemic
  • Debt FuM c.£118million (2021: c.£110million)
    • Accreditation awarded to the Group to deliver debt funding under the Recovery Loan Scheme (“RLS”)
    • c.£11million additional allocation from British Business Bank under the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund Debt mandate, with effect from 1 November 2021

Direct investment portfolio developments

  • Direct investment portfolio fair value of £119.6million (2021: £96.2million), up c.24% notwithstanding the significant investment realisation of Faradion, completed in the year
  • Sale of Faradion in January 2022 resulted in total cash receipts of £19.4million (including a £1.5million loan repayment), generating £9.9million of realised gains together with crystallised loan interest and redemption premiums totalling £2.3million for the year
  • £18.4million net invested into 16 portfolio companies (2021: £15.4million net invested into 19 portfolio companies), including new direct investments into Forensic Analytics Limited and Pimberly Limited
  • Completion of a significant third-party investment into nDreams, resulting in a £6.7million fair value increase to the Group’s investment holding value as at 31 March 2022

Post year end developments

  • In April 2022 the Group’s AuM surpassed £1.0billion, with the three Northern Venture Capital Trusts raising £40.0million through the allotment of new shares, plus Mercia’s maiden Knowledge-intensive Impact EIS Fund raising £4.5million. Both successes reflect continued confidence in the track records of the VCT and EIS portfolios and the investment teams who manage them
  • Demerger from Intechnica of its cybersecurity bot-management business Netacea, to allow both companies to benefit from a refined focus on capitalising on their respective significant growth opportunities. Mercia retains stakes in both businesses post demerger equal in value to its previous holding value
  • Exciting commercial progress continues to be made by the direct investment portfolio
  • Mercia has been accredited as a carbon neutral organisation, demonstrating its commitment to ESG principles

Mark Payton, Chief Executive Officer of Mercia, commented:

“I am pleased to share a set of results that showcase the strength and maturity of Mercia and its business model. The significant success that we have seen during the last two financial years, and our positive future prospects, have been made possible by the combined efforts of everyone connected with Mercia. I would therefore like to express my sincere gratitude to the amazing portfolio companies that we have the privilege to support. As a Group, we are also very appreciative of the growing belief in Mercia from our third-party fund investors, and both VCT and Mercia shareholders, that the UK regions can deliver value and returns. Finally, I would like to thank Mercia’s employees, without whom we would not have become who we are today: #OneMercia.”

Read the full RNS here
Visit our Prelims 2022 area here

 

Join Dr. Paul Mattick as he runs through how Mercia’s EIS funds performed in May 2022.

(Capital at Risk. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future return)

Visit Mercia’s EIS area
Register for the next EIS webinar here

Mercia is pleased to note that its first Knowledge-Intensive and annual Enterprise Investment Scheme funds have raised a combined total of c.£20million in new capital during the last year.

The specialist KI fund will invest in high-growth businesses that generate a positive impact, as outlined by the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

As one of the UK’s leading providers of both EIS and Venture Capital Trust investment capital, these successful fund raises, together with the £40.0million recently raised by the Northern VCTs, means that Mercia has raised over £60million in new funds from individual investors during the last year.

Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia, commented: “As an exclusively national investor, focused on delivering capital and support to the UK regions, responsible investment is at our core. More broadly, Environmental, Social and Governance issues are quite rightly an increasingly important driver of investor decision making. We’re therefore delighted to have raised our first Knowledge-Intensive fund that will capitalise on our experience of successfully investing in purpose-led regional SMEs. More broadly, raising over £60million in new funds from individual investors during the last year is testament to how our increasingly successful track record of delivering attractive realisations is supporting Mercia’s strategy of scaling its assets under management.”

Visit Mercia’s Responsible Investment area

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