Source - RNS
RNS Number : 8646K
Mercia Technologies PLC
27 September 2016

27 September 2016


Mercia Technologies PLC

("Mercia" or "the Group")

New investment into innovative healthcare company, Medherant

Mercia Technologies PLC (AIM: MERC), which is focused on the creation, funding and scaling of innovative technology businesses with high growth potential from the UK regions, is pleased to announce a new direct investment of £650,000 into Medherant Limited ("Medherant" or the "Company").  Medherant is a novel transdermal patch drug delivery system company, and this investment brings another opportunity with high growth potential into Mercia's portfolio of direct investments.

Mercia's investment is part of a syndicated £1.5million fundraising round which will support taking the Company's patches through the Good Manufacturing Practice and pre-clinical work required to start clinical work and to enable the early commercialisation of its technology.

Medherant, an IP-rich spinout from the University of Warwick, is currently focused on developing its transdermal drug delivery patch, known as the TEPI Patch®, for the widely used pain management drugs Ibuprofen and methyl salicylate, providing consumers with the ability to obtain pain relief for up to 24 hours through easily applied and comfortable patches.  The TEPI Patch® will also provide wider drug delivery opportunities across a number of therapeutics areas, including for drug candidates that have failed clinical trials due to unsuitability for oral consumption.  As a result of the patch's ease of manufacture, efficient delivery and reduced use of material, the technology also has the potential to remove huge cost burdens from healthcare systems.  TEPI Patch® was initially developed within the University of Warwick and incorporates adhesive technology licensed from Bostik, demonstrating the benefit of blue sky thinking when academia and industry come together.

This investment is another example of Mercia making a direct investment into an "Emerging Star" originated from its managed third party funds.  The investment funnel from third party funds, which was significantly enlarged following the acquisition of Enterprise Ventures Group in March 2016, has now resulted in a total of 26 direct investment technology companies with high growth potential.

Dr. Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Technologies PLC, commented:

"We are delighted to transition Medherant into a direct investment, which further demonstrates the benefit of nurturing promising businesses over time.  Working closely with our University partners, we are able to identify advanced technology prospects, such as those at the core of Medherant, which were developed by Professor David Haddleton.  David was also one of the founders behind Abzena plc, a portfolio company of Mercia.  We have worked closely with the Medherant team to create and develop the business and its path to market, with the prospect of ultimately delivering value to our fund investors and Mercia's shareholders alike.  We look forward to supporting Medherant further as they take this innovative delivery system to market."

Commenting on the investment, CEO of Medherant, Nigel Davis, said:

"We are delighted to continue our excellent relationship with Mercia, and also to secure funding from new investors.  The process has been smooth, enabling us to continue to focus on technology development.  These new funds will enable us to move ahead rapidly with pre-clinical studies for our lead TEPI Patch® programmes so that we can be ready for testing in the clinic in 2017."

For further information, please contact:

Mercia Technologies PLC

Mark Payton, Chief Executive Officer

Martin Glanfield, Chief Financial Officer 

+44 (0)330 223 1430


Cenkos Securities plc

Ivonne Cantu / Mark Connelly (NOMAD)

+44 (0)20 7397 8900


Sophie McNulty, Victoria Hayns, Stephanie Watson

+44 (0)20 7466 5000


About Mercia Technologies PLC

Mercia is a national investment group focused on the creation, funding and scaling of innovative businesses with high growth potential from the UK regions. Mercia employs 60 people across six offices and it has one of the largest university networks in the UK with 18 university partnerships across the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland. These partnerships provide access to high quality, regional deal flow which accounts for approximately one third of Mercia's investments.

Mercia's 'Complete Capital Solution' enables it to scale businesses via its third party funds (with more than £220.0million under management) and then over time Mercia identifies its 'Emerging Stars' which it can provide further capital to using its own balance sheet.

Mercia focuses on sourcing and scaling businesses across four sectors: Digital & Digital Entertainment; Life Sciences and Bio-sciences; Software & the Internet and; Electronics, Materials & Manufacturing/Engineering. 

In a recent report (Source: Beauhurst, The Deal, 2015/16), Mercia was found to be the fifth most active investor in the UK and the fourth most active in technology.  Since its IPO in December 2014, the Company continues to seek early stage third party investment opportunities and it has directly invested over £24.0million across its portfolio of Emerging Stars. In addition to providing its direct investments with the required capital, Mercia also supports the management teams to build towards exits that will realise incremental value for Mercia shareholders over the medium term.

The Mercia Group comprises Mercia Technologies PLC, Mercia Fund Management Ltd and Enterprise Ventures Group Ltd. Mercia is quoted on AIM with the epic "MERC".

About Medherant Ltd

Medherant is a developer of first-in-class transdermal drug delivery patches founded by Professor David Haddleton and the University of Warwick. Since March 2015, Medherant has been using its world-leading expertise in bioadhesives and polymer chemistry to create new adhesive transdermal patches to expand and advance the library of drugs that can be delivered using patches. The TEPI Patch® technology, developed by Medherant, improves upon existing patches by significantly increasing drug loading capability, efficacy and patient user experience.

Medherant is commercialising novel transdermal patch-based products and solutions that are capable of delivering a much wider range of drugs than traditional patch products, while offering the levels of dose control that other topical delivery methods do not have. Medherant's first products are currently in pre-clinical testing, and are expected to enter clinical testing in 2017.

The Company is currently seeking partnerships with pharmaceutical companies wishing to extend the commercial life of drug patents, or with products for which development has halted due to the compound being unsuitable for oral delivery.

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