Queen’s University Belfast spin-out VascVersa raises £500,000 in seed round

Company plans to accelerate development of cell therapies

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) spin-out VascVersa has completed a seed investment round of £500,000 as it seeks to accelerate the development of its ground-breaking cell therapies.

Among the backers were Co-Fund NI, managed by Clarendon Fund Managers; the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University Belfast, QUBIS; the Innovation Investment Fund; and angel investors from the Halo and Business Angel Network.

The early-stage regenerative medicine company is developing a cell therapy, Angicyte, that promotes the creation of new blood vessels. The therapy, which promotes healing by improving blood supply, is targeted at diabetic patients suffering from non-healing foot ulcers but is also expected to potentially be used for other vascular diseases.

“This investment is a significant milestone for VascVersa. It will enable us to accelerate development of our first product for diabetic foot ulcers and also develop our technology for other vascular diseases,” said chief executive Christina O’Neill.I’m extremely grateful to all our funders for their invaluable support throughout VascVersa’s development.”

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Chairman Aidan Courtney said the support from both investors and QUB would allow the company to expand its Belfast research facilities and develop new products.

This is the company’s second fundraising round; it previously raised more than £250,000 in April 2021. The company also received a grant for £800,000 through Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst.

VascVersa is co-ordinating research being undertaken in research centres in Belfast, London and Edinburgh to develop its new cell therapy.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist