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Health and biotech businesses are first to benefit from North East Northern Accelerator fund


North East university partnership Northern Accelerator has made over £500,000 worth of investments into university spin-out businesses in the health and biotech sectors from its £1.7m Seed Investment Fund.

The fund, managed by Northstar Ventures, has completed its first two investments which, as part of a wider funding round with other investors, saw two spinouts raise a total of £1.85m.

The fund was officially launched earlier this year to make substantial investments into spin-out businesses with high growth potential, and to attract investors from outside the North East.

One of the first businesses to receive investment is AMLo Biosciences, a Newcastle University spin-out developing diagnostics for early-stage skin cancer.

The company received a total investment of £1.5m, £400,000 of which came directly from the Seed Investment Fund. It will use the cash to launch in the UK and prepare for international expansion with the commercialisation of its new melanoma test AMBLor® in the USA and Australia next year.

And, an artificial intelligence business which specialises in the analysis of imaging technology for X-rays, CT and MRI scans, raised £350,000 including £175,000 from the Seed Investment Fund.

The Durham University spin-out has since increased its headcount to 10 and will e launching its latest AI productivity tools for public sale in 2021.

Northstar Ventures is “actively” working with other spin-out businesses to identify opportunities to invest the remaining £1.2m of the Seed Investment Fund.

Alan Welby, Director of Innovation at the North East LEP, said: “Northern Accelerator’s work shows the importance of developing the right ecosystem to translate research ideas into commercial businesses that solve real-world problems.

“Innovation will be a driver behind the region’s post COVID-19 recovery, which university spin-outs with strong commercial potential will help facilitate.”

Pictured: director Boguslaw Obara (left) and CEO Bill Shepherd

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