Protein engineering firm gets strong start from biotech investors

Investee Company – Diversys Ltd

Investee Company Country – UK

Investee Company Business Type – Develops technologies for the in vitro evolution and engineering of recombinant proteins

Type of Financing – Seed, start-up

Equity Providers – MVM Limited

Equity Leader (Individual) – David Brister, MVM Limited

Debt Providers – N/A

Debt Type – N/A

Debt Leader (Individual) – N/A

Equity Amount – Initial seed funding to facilitate first 18 months of company development

Total Deal Value – Undisclosed

Other Advisors – Herbert Smith

Comments – A new biotechnology company, Diversys Ltd, has been launched by two scientists from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK. Dr Ian Tomlinson and Dr Greg Winter have formed Diversys with backing from MVM Limited (MVM), the London-based life sciences investor, and the MRC.

Diversys will conduct its own research and development concerning a range of platform technologies for the in vitro evolution and engineering of recombinant proteins. Further research and development will also be extended to new technologies culminating from work produced by founders and colleagues at MRC-LMB.

The new company will receive licensing from the MRC to the patented phage display and antibody repertoire technology. Exclusive commercial rights are also to be given to new patents specifically from the MRC.

Initial funding for research and development will be entirely provided by MVM. This is to provide finance for the first 18 months of company development, after which MVM will look to raise further capital for investment.

Commenting on the formation of the new company, Dr Tomlinson said: “The new technologies developed at MRC-LMB over the past five years provide Diversys with a unique platform to develop its product pipeline”.