International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised investment fund Science Creates Ventures on its first seed investment, into University of Bristol biotech spin-out CytoSeek.
The SCV fund focuses on technologies with the potential to improve healthcare, quality of life, and the environment. It is supported and backed by several successful Bristol-based entrepreneurs, including Dr. Harry Destecroix, who sold his company Ziylo in a deal potentially worth £623m in 2018.
CytoSeek was established to develop next generation cell therapies using artificial membrane-binding protein technology. The start-up has raised £3.5m, led by SCV, and is seeking to get its technology to cancer patients who are currently underserved by existing treatments.
The Osborne Clarke team on the CytoSeek investment was led by London-based partner Matthew Edwards. Bristol-based partner Helen Parsonage led on the fund formation, assisted by Erika Jupe, also based in Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office, on tax.
Dr. Carolyn Porter, CEO at CytoSeek, says: “This funding round led by SCV will enable us to succeed in scaling up our R&D efforts and advance our mission to develop next-generation cancer cell therapies. Our ambition is to get our technology into cancer patients who are currently underserved by existing treatments and work with partners to make their cell therapies better.”
SCV has been working closely with CytoSeek since its inception and led a syndicate of new investors that included Parkwalk Advisors, Meltwind, Luminous Ventures and several angel investors in this funding round.
Dr. Harry Destecroix, co-founder of Science Creates Ventures, says: “We have really enjoyed working with Osborne Clarke on the set up of Science Creates Ventures and this, our first investment.
“Both Helen Parsonage on the fund formation side and Matt Edwards who has advised us on our investment in Cytoseek, have been responsive and commercial, and invaluable partners in guiding us through all the processes. We look forward to working with them as we invest the rest of our first fund and on raising more money in the next few years.”