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05 January 2012

£1.75M investment for Manchester University spin-out

Press Release 5th January 2012

Award-winning medical technology spin-out company, Ai2 Limited has secured £1.75M in a joint investment from managers of The North West Fund for Biomedical, SPARK Impact and MTI Firms, managers of UMIP Premier Fund.

The deal, which saw MTI invest £950k and SPARK Impact, invest £800k, allows the Manchester University spin-out to continue development of its cutting edge technology.

The £25m North West Fund for Biomedical is part of the £185m North West Fund -an evergreen fund provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to supply debt and equity funding to growing small and medium sized enterprises in the North West of England.

Ai2 has developed proprietary human protein-like substances which safely and cost-effectively inhibit bacteria, fungi and viruses. The products have the potential to be used to prevent infection on a wide range of commonly used medical devices like urinary catheters and stents as well being utilised in wound dressings and consumer products.

In 2010, the company signed its first major license deal with a contact lens manufacturer and has since gone on to have successful development projects with a range of blue chip companies.

Dr Jim McNairney, CEO of Ai2, said: "I am very pleased and excited that Ai2 has been able to attract and secure this significant investment of £1.75M from two separate funds in an extremely difficult fund raising climate for Biomedical companies. This new investment from SPARK Impact and follow-on investment from MTI will significantly fuel the growth and value of Ai2."

Dr David Holbrook, General Partner at MTI, and director of Ai2 said: "I am delighted to welcome in another first class early stage biomedical fund into the company. It is real validation of the company's trajectory and growth plans."

Senior Investment Director at SPARK Impact, Dr Penny Attridge said: "I am delighted to announce this investment into Ai2. It's great to be able to invest alongside the likes of MTI, a world class investor in this field, in a quality company like Ai2, developing products in this very exciting and valuable sector."

Ai2 is the twelfth investment for the North West Fund for Biomedical and the Funds second largest investment of 2011, both of which had significant co-investment from regional investors, signifying the strength and breadth of the Biomedical sector in the North West.

Dr Attridge added: "The Fund for Biomedical continues to see a significant number of applications of excellent opportunities from both early stage and more mature companies and is looking to continue to invest heavily in 2012."


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