University of Manchester spin-out Arvia Technology, which makes water cleaning products, has attracted another £250,000 from private equity backer MTI Partners.
The investment kicks off a second round of funding which is expected to raise £750,000.
Arvia, which has offices in Manchester and Liverpool, has developed Nyex, a patented renewable material, which destroys organic pollutants by applying a low-power electric current.
The new money comes from the UMIP Premier Fund (UPF), which is managed by MTI from its office in Manchester.
MTI said the investment was “recognition of a number of impressive user trials of Arvia’s water treatment technology, and ever increasing commercial interest from a broad range of markets”.
Arvia’s technology is cost effective, requires little maintenance and produces no secondary solid or liquid waste which needs to be disposed of.
The company was named among the Global Cleantech 100 last September and won the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s North West Innovation Award last July. Its customers include water utilities and groundwater remediation companies and it is getting inquiries from overseas markets.
MTI investment manager Dr Mark Rahn said: “Arvia Technology has made significant progress towards commercialisation since our first investment in September 2008. Its water treatment technology has matured from being impressive in the laboratory, to a proven market changing, and most importantly, commercially viable proposition.
“I have no doubt that Arvia will achieve accelerated commercial success in the coming months.”
MTI said it had made three energy and environmental sector investments in the North West in the past 12 months and was looking to invest in other clean-tech companies across the region.
Arvia’s chief executive, Martin Keighley, said: “There is still a lot of work to do, but this investment comes at a crucial time as we step up taking this innovative and highly disruptive technology to market.”
“Global interest in Arvia has grown rapidly in recent months, with enquiries coming from the likes of the United States, France and Israel, and the big challenge is to now deliver on opportunities from markets as broad as groundwater remediation, nuclear decommissioning and pulp & paper.”
The UMIP Premier Fund has invested an undisclosed amount in University of Manchester medical technology spin-out BiOxyDyn.
The company, based in the unviersity’s Core Technology Facility, has developed an innovative new approach to 3D lung imaging.
It uses an enhanced form of magnetic resonance imaging which exposes the patient to zero radiation compared to a CT scan, where the dose can be the equivalent of up to 100 chest x-rays.
BiOxyDyn hopes that this will play a major role in the diagnosis and monitoring of two prominent conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
COPD is projected to become the 4th leading cause of death worldwide by 2030 , while asthma affects 6.5 per cent of the British population.
The investment is managed by Watford-based MTI Partners, which runs the UMIP Premier Fund. In January it invested £250,000 in Ai2, another University of Manchester spin-out.
BiOxyDyn is in talks with a major pharmaceutical company which has recognised the benefits of reliable imaging technology in improved monitoring of the effect of new drugs in clinical trials.
MTI’S Mark Rahn said: “We’re delighted to have completed the investment in BiOxyDyn. It’s clear that the USP’s of their product will prove instantly attractive to the market as high quality lung imaging is currently very poorly served and lung diseases and disorders are so commonplace.”
“We’re also pleased to have managed another med-tech investment in a University of Manchester spin-out, further highlighting its status as a leader in that field.”
Prof. Geoff Parker, one of BiOxyDyn’s directors, said: “Although we can’t go public on the exact size of this deal, the timing of the investment couldn’t be better. There currently simply isn’t an inexpensive or practical 3D lung imaging technique available that can capture the structure and function of the lung, so we feel we’ve got something the market will want quickly.”
Prof. Parker continues: “We’ve had some exciting interest from a major pharmaceutical player, so the race is on to continue developing our products and engage with the market.”
The UMIP Premier Fund makes late-seed stage investments, in a total of 15 – 20 companies, initially in the £250,000 to £750,000 range, with a view to following up with a further investment of up to £3m.
UMIP, The University of Manchester’s IP commercialisation company and Manchester Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology (MIMIT) have together appointed consultant David Maddison as Designer-in-Residence. UMIP identifies, protects and commercialises innovative ideas from the University’s 5 star research base and David will be providing product design expertise to complement this commercialisation process.
The University of Manchester and Greater Manchester NHS and Primary Care Trusts have joined forces to create MIMIT™ – a new and exciting initiative which facilitates collaborations between clinicians, scientists, engineers and industry to develop innovative technology for patient benefit.
David’s company, Maddison Limited, is a leading strategic product design and development consultancy which specialises in medical, scientific, and electronic products. The company works with global corporations, SMEs, start-up and spin-out companies, public sector organisations, universities and technology transfer enterprises, to design, develop and commercialise technology.
Maddison Ltd has already worked on design aspects of two inventions for UMIP. David comments: “Maddison Ltd has enjoyed a very successful working relationship with UMIP on past projects, helping to raise the value of its IP and speed up the process of commercialisation. I am delighted with the exciting opportunities that this appointment offers and look forward to adding our skills and experience to this talented team.”
Clive Rowland, UMIP’s CEO, said that he was pleased that David had agreed to accept the appointment. “We are very much looking forward to working with David and his team. Maddison Ltd’s expertise will add significant value to our spin-outs’ technologies through informed design and, for our licence propositions, will reduce much of the work necessary to meet specifications, standards and anticipated uses.”
Jackie Oldham, Director of MIMIT said: “This appointment is great news. David and his team will be able to advise on many aspects of product design and thereby enhance the innovation development pathway.”