Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.

A-Alpha Bio, a US-based pharmaceutical development service provider spun out of University of Washington, has obtained $2.8m in a round led by OS Fund that featured AME Cloud Ventures, Boom Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Sahsen Ventures, Washington Research Foundation and unnamed angel investors. A-Alpha Bio’s genetically-engineered AlphaSeq platform is designed to quantitatively gauge interactions between different proteins as the basis for drug design programs being pursued by third-party pharmaceutical firms.

ESTR, a UK-based developer of technology to reduce the water and chemicals needed by tanneries to produce leather, was spun out of water saving and filtration technologies producer Xeros Technology today with a convertible loan from the latter to fund the spinout until the end of the year. Xeros itself is a spinout of University of Leeds that went public in 2014. ESTR will look to commercialise the technology under the existing Qualus brand, with the spinout led by Qualus’ management team. ESTR will be required to meet a contractual minimum of royalty levels from 2022 and if these obligations are not met, the licensing rights would revert back to Xeros. ESTR is set to raise external funding in the near future.

University of California, Irvine has formally unveiled US-based spinout Debut Biotechnology to commercialise an enzyme-based approach to manufacturing goods including pharmaceuticals, alcoholic beverages and cannabinoids. Debut Biotechnology’s enzyme cartridges would prompt chemical reactions with the aim of facilitating continuous manufacturing processes where production lines operate constantly within a single location.