Albion, one of the UK’s largest venture capitalists has invested £2.6m in Proveca, a specialist pharmaceutical company that develops innovative and technically complex new pharmaceuticals, largely for children.
Proveca, which was established in 2010 by Simon Bryson and Dr Helen Shaw, focuses on the re-engineering of existing generic medicines to make them appropriate for use by young people, many of whom will have chronic conditions which require on-going drug regimes. The company is currently developing medicines for children in the fields of cardiology, neurology and pain management.
Dr Andrew Elder, Partner and Head of Healthcare at Albion, said: “Healthcare is an important area within Albion’s portfolio and it provides tremendous opportunities for growth in a climate of economic uncertainty. It’s a sector where there is increasing need for efficiency and wide demand for new technologies. For Albion, the timing is right to continue to invest in this sector. We have the expertise to identify companies such as Proveca that are ideally positioned for rapid growth.”
Dr Christoph Ruedig, Investment Manager at Albion, added: “Proveca has identified a unique opportunity to build a business focused on medicines for children, which is a poorly served market. They have a highly experienced management team with a strong track record that is ideally positioned to deliver on the company’s growth plans. We are delighted to be investing and working with this innovative company.”
Simon Bryson, Managing director of Proveca said: “We are excited to have gained the backing of Albion whose expertise in the healthcare space convinced us that they would be ideal partners. This deal will enable us to take our pipeline of new products through clinical development and, ultimately, authorisation and licensing for use across Europe. We have the ability to successfully take complex products from conception to commercialisation, with a specific focus on ensuring the availability and appropriate presentation of important medicinal products to address unmet medical needs.”
Dr Helen Shaw, Managing director of Proveca added: “The re-engineering of non-patent drugs to deliver a product developed specifically for children – rather than young people having to take drugs initially designed for adults – is a great unmet need in modern medicine. For those children with long-term conditions in particular, the development of such drugs to make them more pleasant to take or easier to administer, with the supporting clinical evidence of use, can deliver massive improvements in quality of life and care. Our business is about identifying niche patient populations and developing products which specifically meet their needs.”
Proveca marks Albion’s ninth investment in the healthcare sector in the last five years. Currently 20% of its portfolio is in the healthcare sector, reflecting its central position in its portfolio. Other investments managed by Albion in the healthcare sector include: Abcodia, Allergy Therapeutics (AT), Bayfield Court, Dysis Medical, Haemostatix Lab M Holdings, Masters Pharmaceutical Limited, Mirada Medical, Nelson House, Orchard Portman House, Oxford Immunotec, Peakdale Molecular, Prime Care Holdings, Vivacta, Xceleron and Xention.
Proveca is based in Sci-Tech Daresbury, which is a world class location for high-tech business and leading edge science based in Cheshire.