Xention Discovery backed by MVM

Investee company

Xention Discovery Ltd

Investee company business type

Develops high-throughput drug target screening technology

Type of financing


Equity providers


Equity leader (individual)

David Brister

Debt provider


Debt type


Debt leader (individual)


Equity amount


Total deal value


Other advisors

Olswang (Legal)


MVM, a venture capital fund manager specialising in life science start-up companies has backed the spin-out of CeNes Pharmaceutical’s ion channel technology development division in a deal worth £750,000. The transaction will be paid in two parts; CeNes will receive a minority shareholding in the new company valued at £375,000, and a loan note of £375,000.

The new company will be called Xention Discovery. Xention will be based in Cambridge, UK. The existing members of CeNes channelworks team will transfer to the new company. Tim Brears has been brought in by MVM as CEO. Under the terms of the deal, Xention has acquired CeNes’s ion channel technology, AutoPatch, and all its related intellectual property. AutoPatch provides technology that enables high-throughput functional screening or ion channel drug targets with increased speed and volumes to that of existing technology.

The spin-out of Xention was instigated by CeNes’ desire to focus on the company’s core business in the development, marketing and sale of drugs for the treatment of disorders of the central nervous system pain.

Neil Clark, COO and financial director of CeNes, commented: “This divestment is another successful step under our restructuring programme. We are pleased to retain a stake in the future of this leading technology and in the potential drug candidates that may be discovered by using it.

David Brister, investment manager at MVM said: “We’ve been looking around for about a year for an opportunity in the field of ion channel technology. We were made aware that CeNes were looking to divest this area of their business so we worked together to see how we could develop the project as a new company. Because of the difficulty that conventional technology has in developing drugs affecting ion channels in the human body the current market is very small. We believe that AutoPatch is leading edge technology.