Blueberry Therapeutics, a drug discovery business based at Alderley Park, has secured a £750,000 investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) partner, Maven Equity Finance.
The company specialises in the development of nanomedicines for treating skin and nail infections. Blueberry’s nanomedicines enable enhanced drug delivery into skin and nail for better patient outcomes, with differentiation from current products by matching or improving upon existing drug efficacy at significantly reduced doses.
The funding will support the drug discovery business as it embarks on the next set of clinical trials for a new topical antifungal spray for the treatment of onychomycosis using its unique nanodelivery platform technology, as well as progressing other product development lines. Through the new delivery method, Blueberry Therapeutics hope to reduce costs and safety and tolerability issues with existing medication by administering treatments more efficiently to affected areas. Success at clinical trial stage will the see Alderley Park dug discovery firm tap into a growing global market for skin and nail treatments worth over $3 billion.
Blueberry Therapeutics is led by it CEO, former Pfizer and AstraZeneca executive, John Ridden. He said of the deal:
We are very happy to have Maven as part of the Blueberry team as we now enter an important phase of our company development. We are delighted to have enrolled our first group of patients into our Phase IIb clinical trial for onychomycosis and excited to see just how well our drug performs in this common and unpleasant disease”
The deal was led by Senior Investment Managers, Alex Rothwell and Gavin Bell, at Maven’s Manchester office. Gavin said:
The life sciences and biotech sector seems to be thriving more than ever at the moment in the Northern Powerhouse region, with a growing ecosystem of really promising, innovative companies. Blueberry is a great example of this, focused on the dermatology space. We’re delighted to invest in John and this high-quality team and board, to help support the development and commercialization of its product portfolio.”
Sue Barnard from British Business Bank, said:
Blueberry Therapeutics is another forward-thinking NPIF-backed business operating out of Alderley Park – one of a number of hubs for scientific excellence in the North. This investment demonstrates how NPIF funding can make a real and measurable difference to businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region, which in turn helps create a more prosperous regional economy.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.