Peter Dines

Peter Dines, head of life sciences and bio-sciences at Mercia

New funding for healthcare start-ups

Mercia Fund Management has also this week announced that it is set to partner with Innovate UK on its new Investment Accelerator programme.

The £8.5m Investment Accelerator initiative is a pilot programme which provides simultaneous grant funding and venture capital.

Investment is targeted at innovative early stage companies which operate in infrastructure or health and life sciences.

Mercia will join six other organisations which will provide private sector investment alongside grants injecting up to £150,000 into successfully selected companies.

Mercia will consider applications from companies that support infrastructure systems, as well as the health and life sciences sector from which it already has an expansive portfolio, including AIM listed Concepta PLC, Oxford Genetics and The Native Antigen Company.

Peter Dines, head of life sciences and bio-sciences at Mercia, said: “I am delighted that Mercia has been invited as a partner for this programme.

“Innovate UK has very clear aims in the delivery of this project and we believe that Mercia is well positioned to help fund and scale innovative applications into commercial opportunities.

“We look forward to reviewing new opportunities as they arise and working alongside Innovate and other partners.”

The programme will bring private investors into Innovate UK grant-funded companies earlier, giving companies greater confidence that investment will continue after the project funding.

The registration deadline for entries is 28 June and the final application deadline is 5 July 2017.

Further details for those interested can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-competition-investment-accelerator-pilot

Health Centrified raises £200,000

Birmingham start-up Health Centrified has raised £200,000 in seed funding in a deal led by Mercia Fund Management and involving the NHS-backed West Midlands Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) fund.

The software the company has invented is designed to improve patient engagement and make it easier for clinicians to measure patient outcomes outside of a healthcare setting.

For patients, the service will enable them to spot patterns in their behaviour that affect their health, communicate with their clinician and empower them to practice self-care so they can take responsibility for their health and wellbeing.

Health Centrified will use the early-stage investment to support the development, evaluation and commercialisation of its software platform.

As well as working with UK organisations, the start-up is also looking to build relationships with US healthcare providers.

Experienced entrepreneur and CEO of Health Centrified, Syed Abrar, previously co-founded the multi-award winning mental health solution, Buddy App.

Syed has built extensive client relationships across a number of sectors including telecoms, recruitment and finance.

Abrar said: “Because the best treatment is partially dependent upon timely and reliable information from patients, we are looking for ways to improve on the collection of that information.

“We are confident that by opening a communication channel between patients and providers using this platform, we can increase compliance for treatment plans and get a much higher level of data input from patients outside of regular visits.

“We also believe this could be a two-way channel, where providers can push information out to patients as well. Having better engaged patients, we expect to see higher health outcomes.

“We welcome the financial strength of working with Mercia Fund Management and the opportunity the WM AHSN offers - with access to health professionals and test beds within the NHS, to aid development of the solution.”

Dr Ashish Patel, investment manager at Mercia Fund Management, added: “We believe this is a great opportunity to invest in a potentially high-value solution to a significant health and commercial problem. In the UK, around £700m is thought to be lost through missed NHS appointments alone.

“Healthcare IT solutions for care providers is a particular area of interest for Mercia and we are delighted to support Syed and his team as they continue to grow.”