Welcome to the November 2021 edition of the CIC newsletter
There has never been a better time to launch a deeptech or life sciences startup and Cambridge is one of the best places in the world to build it.
A bold statement that I used to open our annual investor meeting a couple of weeks ago. During the meeting we presented an update on the growth of the Cambridge ecosystem, increased global investment in our deeptech and life science sectors, and the strong performance of CIC's venture funds. We also welcomed several of our portfolio CEOs to showcase the disruptive technologies their companies are bringing to market. All of this progress supports this bold statement and reinforces what an exciting time it is to be an entrepreneur and investor in Cambridge.
But this is only part of the story. During the last quarter we also hosted a Global Corporate Venturing Symposium. We introduced corporate venture groups from around the world to the Cambridge innovation ecosystem, from IP generation, through seed, venture and growth funding, all the way to global partnership. We also hosted an academic entrepreneur event for over 100 academics interested in commercialising the next generation of disruptive innovation from Cambridge.
In addition, we completed two new investments during the quarter (please see below). Both of these are excellent examples of the best of Cambridge combined with global innovation ecosystems.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement with CIC.
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This quarter we're pleased to announce investments in two new companies.
In September we invested in Pretzel Therapeutics, a company based partly on IP generated from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge and now headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The company is a start-up on a mission to develop ground-breaking therapies to reverse mitochondrial dysfunction leveraging a deep mechanistic understanding of mitochondrial biology.
In November we invested in a newly launched Cambridge-based, immune-oncology company founded to bring transformative benefits to cancer patients by enabling the immune system to recognise a novel class of tumour specific antigens. Further information will follow in due course.
On 1 November 2021, we were privileged to host a delegation of investors from some of the world’s largest multinational corporations as part of the Global Corporate Venturing Symposium. The event brought together some of the leading minds in investment, tech, life sciences and government, to explore a packed agenda of what makes the Cambridge ecosystem so remarkable – and the opportunities it offers.
As a leading organisation in the Cambridge cluster we are committed to working with partners and co-investors in the broader innovation ecosystem to accelerate the incorporation of Impact and ESG into company operations. Our Impact and ESG strategy are outlined in our new webpage, where you can also access a copy of our Impact and ESG report for the year ended 31 March 2021.
Science changes lives. We know that because we’ve seen it first-hand through the businesses in which we’ve invested. We also know that access to science and creating a passion for it from a young age is key. That’s why we are delighted to have the opportunity to support and sponsor Cambridge Science Centre (CSC) in the important work they do for young people in Cambridge and beyond. Organisations like CSC are vital contributors to the future of research and innovation in the UK.
PragmatIC Semiconductor is a world leader in ultra-low-cost electronics that are not based on silicon. The unique chips have a thin, flexible form factor, opening up opportunities that are not addressable today with conventional silicon chips. CIC saw the vision of a world transformed by PragmatIC’s flexible circuits and has supported the company since investing in their Series A round in 2015. Since then, the company has gone from strength-to-strength, opening its first fab, producing chips in a manner which is orders of magnitude more sustainable in water and energy consumption than traditional silicon processing.
CIC named Investment Unit of the Year
"CIC’s appetite for dealmaking has remained undimmed during the pandemic, with a slew of new investments in recent months highlighting the fund’s ongoing commitment to supporting world-leading life-sciences and deeptech businesses".
Sense Series B increased to $65 million to support launch of rapid, point-of-care molecular diagnostic
Sense Biodetection announced that after achieving several key milestones this year, the company’s Series B funding round has been increased to $65M, an additional $15 million from prior commitments.
Bicycle shares interim clinical trial results from two internal programmes and successfully completes upsized public offering
Bicycle reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021 and provided recent corporate updates.
PetMedix raised $37M Series B
The financing round will propel PetMedix from an R&D-stage, UK-focused biotech company, into a clinical-stage international organisation.
CMR Surgical - new global manufacturing facility to meet Versius demand and growth of global footprint following regulatory approval in Brazil
CMR announced plans to open a new large-scale manufacturing facility in Cambridgeshire, which will become the hub for global exports.
Brazil will be 11th country to introduce Versius, following Anvisa approval.
A recurrent theme from the recent Academic Entrepreneur event, hosted by Cambridge Innovation Capital and Cambridge Enterprise, and attended by over 100 academics, was a desire to translate academic research at scale in a way that would not be feasible within a purely academic setting.
The meeting heard from the serial entrepreneur Prof Allan Bradley FRS who has spun out five companies while pursuing an eminent academic career. We then heard from four first time academic researchers Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld from the CRUK-CI, Dr Steve Brierley from the Department of Mathematics, Prof Rachel Oliver from the Department of Material Science and Prof Carl Rasmussen, from the Department of Engineering, who each shared their own highly individual, personal and inspiring journey.