AMLo Biosciences Ltd (AMLo) has gained significant new investments totalling £1.5m, from: funds managed by Northstar Ventures, the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the newly launched Northern Accelerator Seed Investment Fund; Esperante Ventures; The British Innovation Fund, managed by Milltrust International (Milltrust) and backed by UK local authority government pension funds; as well as a number of Angel Investors. The investment will help create new jobs in the north east as the life-saving technology company is scaled up.
The re-investment by early funders Esperante and NorthStar is a further expression of confidence in the technology and leadership of the business which is a spin-out from Newcastle University.
The funds will enable: completion of clinical studies; marketing launch in the UK, with NICE support; and preparations for commercialisation of AMBLor® in the USA and Australia in 2021. The step from academic spin-out to commercial success is critical and this funding will ensure the expert management team has the resource to make the transition.
AMLo’s Chair, Dr Sandy Primrose commented: “This recent investment is a validation of the potential of AMLo’s team and technology. The company is entering into an exciting phase and looks forward to turning this financial support into long term value and most importantly, improved outcomes for skin cancer patients.”
AMBLor® is a prognostic test for early stage skin cancer. It utilises a novel dual antibody to detect the presence or absence of protein expression in skin melanoma. For the first time, patients with early stage melanoma will be able to be classed as low or high risk for future development of metastatic cancer from routine histopathological examination of the primary skin lesion. At present around 15% of people with Stage I and II melanoma are incorrectly assessed for risk and progress to metastatic disease. Applied to all early stage melanoma patients, AMBLor has the potential to save up to 2,000 lives a year in the UK alone.
Alex Buchan, Investment Director of NorthStar said: “We are excited about this investment from NASIF which is aimed at showcasing and supporting the high quality companies spun out of NE universities. The potential for AMBLor in the USA, Australia and the UK is significant. The commercial plan embraces novel technology allied to genuine unmet healthcare needs in skin cancer. AMLo’s team comprises expert scientific and commercial staff who have already created impressive scientific results. We are pleased to have supported them from the start and been impressed with how the company has developed.”
Speaking about the investment into AMLo, Guy Pengelley of Milltrust said: “We are extremely pleased to invest into AMLo. We were impressed by AMLo’s efforts to reduce the suffering caused by inadequately diagnosed skin cancers. There is significant market need to improve cancer outcomes. This investment into AMLo, a spin out from Newcastle University, is in line with the British Innovation Fund’s objective of investing in and developing some of the best university research in the UK”
This investment is welcome news for the North East of England and brings with it the prospect of new jobs and further investment for the area.