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GM&C Life Sciences Fund makes further seed investments

Catapult Ventures, manager of the GM&C Life Sciences Fund, has completed two seed investments in sensor technology developer Kanichi Research and anti-microbial materials developer Virustatic.

The GM&C Life Sciences Fund makes initial investments of GBP50,000 to GBP3 million into life science companies based in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington.
Seed investments of between GBP50,000 and GBP100,000 are made into start-up and early stage opportunities specifically to enable companies to prove an aspect of their technology and/or business proposition.
Based in Warrington, Kanichi Research was founded by Professor Craig Banks, currently the associate dean for research, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, to commercialise his many years of research into sensor technology.
The seed investment will be used to support progress of its innovative breath sensing technology that can be used across a range of medical diagnostic tests. One possible application of Kanichi’s sensors is in a portable hand-held breath test that can be used in a doctor’s surgery for near instant results of bacterial infection that can lead to stomach ulcers and cancer. This would avoid the delay and cost of sending stool samples to laboratories many miles away.
Chris Harris, CEO of Kanichi Research, says: “I’m delighted to be working with Catapult Ventures to further develop the market case for our low cost point of care system for the detection and diagnosis of Helicobacter Pylori. We look forward to engaging with medical practitioners to realise the full potential of the Kanichi breath diagnostic product platform.”
Manchester-based Virustatic hit the headlines earlier this year when the results of its anti-virial research project with Manchester University was made public. Virustatic has successfully developed a “germ trap” that can be applied to numerous materials to prevent the spread of viruses, bacteria and fungus. The seed investment will fund a short project to prove Virustatic’s coatings remain anti-viral when applied in a manufacturing environment to the base material used in a face masks. The company aims to target a number of applications with different partners.
Paul Hope, founder of Virustatic, says: “I’m excited about starting this collaborative project to apply the Virustatic technology to the development of enhanced face masks that actively trap germs and help prevent infection and the spread of disease. This is just one of many applications for our technology and I’m pleased that Catapult Ventures recognises the value of our innovations.”

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