Business

QUB med-tech spin out VascVersa lands six-figure investment deal

Front L-R: Professor Reinhold Medina, Dr Christina O'Neill, Professor Alan Stitt of VascVersa. Back L-R: Stuart Gaffikin (Clarendon Fund Managers), David Moore (QUBIS) and Brian McCaul (QUBIS).
Front L-R: Professor Reinhold Medina, Dr Christina O'Neill, Professor Alan Stitt of VascVersa. Back L-R: Stuart Gaffikin (Clarendon Fund Managers), David Moore (QUBIS) and Brian McCaul (QUBIS). Front L-R: Professor Reinhold Medina, Dr Christina O'Neill, Professor Alan Stitt of VascVersa. Back L-R: Stuart Gaffikin (Clarendon Fund Managers), David Moore (QUBIS) and Brian McCaul (QUBIS).

QUEEN’S University spin out VascVersa has completed a six-figure deal in its first investment round led by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of the third level institution.

The med-tech start-up, which is pioneering new treatments for vascular regeneration, said 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.

The investment round was supported by Invest NI’s equity Co-Fund NI programme and a group of angel investors from the Halo and Business Angel Network (‘HBAN’).

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.

Christina O’Neill, chief executive of VascVersa said: “This is a very exciting time for VascVersa, 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, said: “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.”

The company has also appointed industry veteran Aidan Courtney as Chairman. Courtney was previously CEO of Roslin Cells and Censo Biotechnologies and has over fifteen 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 twenty 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.”