Phoqus secures 2nd round

Phoqus, a UK-based drug delivery technology company developing new electrostatic drug delivery and coating technologies has raised second round funding of GBP13.2 million. The round was led by biotech investor Abingworth. New investors to the round included Abbey National and the Wellcome Trust, and existing investor 3i also made a further commitment. The initial round of financing to establish the company in 1999 was led by Advent Venture Partners, which also made a substantial investment this time round.

David Leathers of Abingworth said: “With 90 per cent of the $350 billion year of sales in pharmaceuticals coming from oral products, the market opportunity for Phoqus’ technology is significant. With the additional resources to develop new applications for its existing technology and to scale up its manufacturing capability, Phoqus will be in a strong position to exploit this opportunity”

Based on the principles of electrostatic deposition technology used in photocopying, the company is developing a unique oral drug delivery technology for the coating and loading of active drug compounds onto the surface of tablets. Phoqus’ LeQtradrose technology uses the electrostatic process to deposit active drugs or coatings onto tablets by creating a differential electrical charge between the powder (the drug compound) and the core (the tablet).

Gouldens advised the company with Adam Greaves, Oliver s’Jacob and Mary Finnigan advising on the corporate side, Richard Martin on employment and Laura Trapnell on IP. The principal investors were represented by SJ Berwin & Co for the Abingworth Bioventures funds, Advent Venture Partners and Abbey National Treasury Services; Osborne Clarke (Bristol) for 3i and Osborne Clarke (London) for GATX Venture Finance Partners.