Asterion Limited win backing of White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund.

Investee Company – Asterion Ltd

Investee Company Country – UK

Investee Company Business Type – Develops new drugs with potential to alleviate hormone-related illnesses

Type of Financing – Seed

Equity Providers – White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund (WRTSF)

Equity Leader (Individual) – Gerry White, Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity

Debt Providers – N/A

Debt Type – N/A

Debt Leader (Individual) – N/AEquity Amount – £245,000

Total Deal Value – £245,000

Other Advisors –

Comments – The White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund has made its seventh investment to date in Asterion Limited. The company established by Sheffield University Enterprises Limited (SUEL) will own Intellectual Property from the research of Professors Richard Ross and Peter Artymiuk, and Dr Jon Sayers.

Asterion has developed a platform technology to generate specific drugs to block the action of hormones. Using naturally occurring proteins, Asterion provides a new method of drug development with the production of specific hormone antagonists. These drugs have low dosage requirement and can be used in the treatment of diseases including growth disorders, inflammatory disorders, obesity, diabetes and cancer.

Professor Richard Ross of Asterion, said: “We are delighted that we have the support of the WRTSF, together with the backing and encouragement of SUEL who helped us through the funding process. We believe that our technology will have a major impact on healthcare in the 3rd millennium.”

The White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund is a consortium of Leeds, Sheffield and York Universities, set up March 1999. The Fund received £4.5 million from the Government University Challenge Fund and £1.5 million from the White Rose Consortium. The Fund is managed by Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity and aims to derive real business opportunities for university research.

Gerry White from Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity, said: “We are impressed by the major impact this research could have on treating the thousands of people who are affected by hormone-related illnesses.”

“Furthermore, the Asterion technology is expected to have major advantages over current competitors including a lower dose requirement, therefore making it more economical, and is a platform technology, that is, it can be used to develop a larger number of drugs for the therapy of a wide variety of diseases including rare pituitary tumours, diabetes and cancer.”