Investment Fund for Scotland announces first major deal
3D printed micro-tumor specialist Carcinotech raises £4.2m to support US expansion
The British Business Bank has today announced its first major deal from the £150m Investment Fund for Scotland, with a £750,000 equity investment, through appointed fund Managers Maven Capital Partners into medical technology business Carcinotech.
Edinburgh-based Carcinotech has raised £4.2 million as part of its latest funding round and has plans to expand into the US later this year. Using its Carcino3D technology, the startup creates 3D bioprinted tumor models using cancer cell lines derived from patients, providing a platform for rapid, ethical, and accurate drug screening, as well as pre-clinical and personalised medicine testing to support cancer treatment.
Ishani Malhotra, CEO and Founder of Carcinotech, said:
“Our vision is to be at the forefront of cancer drug testing and provide personalised medicine testing to every individual suffering from cancer to improve their treatment and chance of survival. Working with global partners, leading pharma companies, surgeons, pathologists, and clinicians, Carcinotech aims to significantly accelerate oncology drug development.”
In October, Carcinotech announced a partnership with Gothenburg-headquartered CELLINK, leveraging CELLINK’s bioprinting solutions and Carcinotech’s expertise in producing bioprinted living tumours to develop cutting-edge cell line cancer models. Ishani Malhotra added: “As part of ongoing commercialisation, we have built strong industry partnerships in Europe, and are now actively engaged in replicating these in North America.”
Carcinotech has also strengthened its board, chaired by industry veteran Albert Nicholl, and launched a scientific advisory board last year with world renowned oncology leaders.
Launched in October 2023 by the UK Government-backed British Business Bank, the Investment Fund for Scotland aims to boost the supply of early-stage finance to small and medium-sized businesses across the country.
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, at the British Business Bank, said:
“Carcinotech has huge potential to transform the way cancer treatments are tested and developed with its advanced 3D bioprinting technology. The investment marks a significant milestone for the Bank’s Investment Fund for Scotland and so we are especially pleased to see it is supporting a female-founder, delivering cutting-edge medical technology in a high-growth sector, to expand internationally.”
Anne Muir, Director of Portfolio at St Andrews-based investment firm Eos, said:
“Ishani and her team are breaking new ground in oncology, they combine a deep knowledge of the field with technology-driven systems that are set to bring about greater efficiencies in cancer research workflows. At Eos, we back innovative companies that positively impact the world and we are excited to continue our support as Carcinotech builds on its commercial traction and enters its next phase of growth from a base in Scotland.”
David Milroy, Partner at Maven, said:
“Carcinotech’s progress over the last 12 months has been impressive and the company is ideally placed to apitalise on the need for more predictive, non-animal models for testing of anti-cancer drugs and the huge opportunity for personalised medicine in cancer treatment. Carcinotech’s models are reproducible and provided in a familiar format for high-throughput screening, key requirements for adoption by the pharmaceutical industry for the testing of drug candidates. I am very much looking forward to working with Ishani and her team and to drawing on Maven’s vast experience of backing smaller businesses to help scale this important business.”
Eos Advisory (Eos) led the investment alongside Maven Capital Partners, Scottish Enterprise, Old College Capital, Investing Women, and existing investors TRICAPITAL, SIS Ventures, Gabriel Investment, and Alba Equity. The Maven investment is via the Investment Fund for Scotland, which Maven manages through Maven Equity Finance on behalf of the British Business Bank.
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Notes to Editors
About the Investment Fund for Scotland
Operated by the British Business Bank, the Investment Fund for Scotland (IFS) provides a mix of debt and equity funding. IFS will offer a range of commercial finance options with smaller loans from £25k to £100k, debt finance from £100k to £2m and equity investment up to £5 million. It works alongside the various support and funding organisations from Scottish government as well as local intermediaries such as accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Scotland’s smaller businesses at all stages of their development.
The funds in which the IFS invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in all areas of Scotland including but not limited to North Eastern Scotland, Highlands and Islands, Eastern Scotland, West Central Scotland and Southern Scotland
Supported by Nations and Regions Investments Limited, a subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the Bank is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. Neither Nations and Regions Investments Limited nor British Business Bank plc are authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
St Andrews-based Eos invests into predominantly Scottish science and technology companies that are addressing key global issues. The Eos Innovation Fund (EIS), which is the cornerstone of the firm’s investment model, enables Eos to invest £15-20 million per annum from the seed to Series A stage.