Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.
Invizius, a UK-based developer of treatments to suppress unwanted innate immune responses based on research at University of Edinburgh, received £5.3m ($7.4m) in a series A round yesterday co-led by university venture fund Old College Capital. The round was co-led by Solvay Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of chemicals company Solvay, Mercia Asset Management, Downing Ventures, state-owned Scottish Enterprise, Calculus Capital and private investor Jonathan Milner. The round, already oversubscribed, remains open until next month. The cash will allow Invizius to complete a first-in-man safety study of its asset aimed at reducing the life-threatening inflammatory effects of haemodialysis in 2022. Invizius raised $3.4m from Old College Capital, Scottish Investment Bank, Downing Ventures and lead investor Mercia in 2019. Mercia had already supplied $680,000 of seed capital in 2018.
Isolere Bio, a US-based spinout of Duke University working on technology to purify adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV), collected $7m in seed funding on Wednesday led by Northpond Ventures. Isolere’s approach focuses on increasing the efficiency of how AAV is filtered out of the bags of cells used to produce the virus, currently a major stumbling block in producing AAV rapidly at scale. Adam Wieschhaus, director at Northpond Ventures, will join Isolere’s board of directors.
MexBrain, a France-based developer of nanotechnology to extract heavy metals from the blood, has secured €5.8m ($7m) in a funding round backed by Arbevel, French Tech Seed and Kreaxi. MexBrain’s technology has applications in Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder that causes an excessive build-up of copper in the body, damaging the liver and the brain. Spun out of Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 and CNRS in 2018, MexBrain will use the money to progress its pipeline towards the clinic in 2022.
FjordStrong, a UK-based underwater survey system developer spun out of Queen’s University Belfast, has raised £316,000 ($440,000) in seed financing led by tech transfer office Qubis, with participation from private investors, according to Silicon Republic. Founded in 2019, FjordStrong’s technology is used to preserve marine biodiversity and the spinout has partnered international NGOs and UK government agencies on projects focused on the conservation of skates and rays. To find out more about Qubis’ work, listen to our interview with chief executive Brain McCaul on Talking Tech Transfer.
Machine Discovery, a UK-based developer of neural network technology to enhance complex simulations that was spun out of University of Oxford, secured an undisclosed amount on Wednesday from investors including the Parkwalk Advisors-managed University of Oxford Innovation Fund V as well as Foresight Williams, the joint venture between engineering services firm Williams Advanced Engineering and investment manager Foresight Group, and Oxford Technology.
– Additional reporting by Robert Lavine