LifeArc’s early ventures funding aims to bridge the gap between academic innovation and the early stages of venture funding.

Our funding provides a much-needed source of investment for young companies developing new products and technologies with the potential to transform patients’ lives.

We are focused on delivering both positive impact for patients and financial returns for us, so we can invest in further promising opportunities in the future.

Bridging the gap between lab innovations and the clinic

As a medical charity, our venture funding programme supports new, innovative products or technologies that could make a huge difference to people’s lives.

We seek to invest in these companies as they move from academic labs into the commercial environment.

Scientists have the ambition, determination and knowledge to transform healthcare. But early translational research is risky and it can be difficult to find capital to fund these companies before they reach the proof of concept stage.

Sometimes this means some of the most promising discoveries never make it out of the lab, and never realise their potential to improve the lives of patients.

Our mission – to make life sciences life changing  – drives the investment ethos within the Early Ventures Investment Team. Our seed and venture funding is committed to identifying and funding promising products and technologies as early as possible, and with a view to continuing to support our companies as they grow and attract further venture funding.

Seed and Series A investment

Our Early Ventures Investment Team is committed to exploring investment opportunities from across the LifeArc life sciences network and through external opportunities that we identify, focusing on funding companies in seed and Series A rounds.

We can invest up to £5 million per company, with further funding available for exceptional companies in later rounds (Series B onwards). We invest alongside other early-stage investors, working to de-risk and help progress the underlying assets and technologies, and work in partnership with global investors to unlock further venture investment in later rounds.

Our focus is on providing early-stage funding in areas where new treatments are needed most, and where novel technologies and modalities can be developed. We are also focused on seeking opportunities at the intersection of digital/data driven health and therapeutics, as well as diagnostics.

Products and business models shouldn’t only be ground-breaking from a clinical perspective. They must also be capable of delivering a financial return for us so we can invest in further promising opportunities in the future.

Our track record

LifeArc has a proven track record in seed and venture funding – we have invested in 13 early-stage companies so far and intend to make two to three new investments per year.

Here are some companies in the LifeArc portfolio:

  • Avvinity Therapeutics – developing novel immunotherapeutics known as Alphamers®, which redirect a patient’s existing antibodies to kill cancer cells and boost immune surveillance
  • Caldan Therapeutics – developing activators of free fatty acid receptors to treat metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Cumulus Neuroscience – their next-generation integrated physiological and digital biomarker platform can monitor diseases of the central nervous system at home – providing feedback on disease progression and response to treatment
  • DJS Antibodies – developing novel antibodies to G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) targets to treat inflammatory diseases (chronic kidney disease and myeloid driven inflammatory disease) using their proprietary HEPTAD discovery technology
  • Ducentis BioTherapeutics – developing novel therapies for inflammation and autoimmune disease
  • Ikarovec – developing novel, differentiated gene therapies for eye conditions, including diabetic macular oedema, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and intra-ocular hypertension
  • Pheno Therapeutics – discovering and developing small molecules to promote remyelination to treat multiple sclerosis
  • Eliem Therapeutics, Inc (NASDAQ: ELYM) – developing ETX-810 to treat chronic pain, and ETX-155, to treat major depressive disorder, perimenopausal depression and focal onset seizures. LifeArc invested alongside RA Capital, Intermediate Capital Group, Access Biotechnology, Samlyn Capital and Acorn Bioventures in a $60 million Series B financing in May 2021.

Get in touch

Are you interested in finding out more about partnering with us? Contact the Early Ventures Investment Team – simply fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch. To find details of team members and get in touch directly, please visit the ‘Our people’ page.

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