QV Bioelectronics (QV) – a medical device start-up pioneering a first of its kind electric field therapy implant for the treatment of the most common and aggressive type of brain tumours, has closed a GBP735,000 seed funding round to advance the development of its innovative GRACE implant.
The round was significantly oversubscribed, attracting support from Consilience Ventures, SOSV, the GM & Cheshire Life Sciences Fund, managed by Catapult Ventures, and several angel investors. In Consilience Ventures – a VC that takes a very different approach to funding and service support as an integral part of its business model – QV has established a long-term partner for growth with a network and knowledge base that aids the company at every stage of development. SOSV is a global venture capital firm that operates early-stage start-up development programs. SOSV can provide multi-stage investment to develop and scale QV Bioelectronics while providing the founders with ongoing support and community. Catapult Ventures – one of the most experienced healthcare and life science VC investors in the UK – joins the round via the GM & Cheshire Life Sciences Fund, contributing long-term value creation with decades of sector experience and a history of supporting the growth of companies at a seed stage. Several high net-worth investors also lend their significant support to this round.
Ahead of this investment, QV Bioelectronics had raised a mixture of equity and grant funding totalling over GBP350,000, including pre-seed funding from SOSV and grants from Innovate UK and the National Institute for Health Research.
QV Bioelectronics is led and co-founded by Dr Christopher Bullock (CEO), alongside Mr Richard Fu (co-founder and clinical director), an academic neurosurgeon. They are backed by an expert team of engineers and scientists who have been working closely with some of the UK’s leading neurosurgeons on the prototype design of the GRACE device.
QV Bioelectronics is determined to deliver longer and a better-quality life for brain tumour patients. It is hoped that GRACE will provide a paradigm shift in the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM), the most common form of primary brain cancer in adults that has amongst the worst outcomes of any type of cancer. Utilising advanced materials, the technology underpinning the GRACE device is designed to significantly extend patient life-expectancy without negatively affecting patient quality of life. GRACE is still at an early stage of development, and it will be several years before the technology is ready to enter clinical trials.
Following the investment, QV welcomes Dr Deepak Kotak of Consilience Ventures to the board of directors.
Dr Christopher Bullock (CEO) says: “This investment is a vote of confidence in QV Bioelectronics from sector-expert investors. The funds raised will fuel the next phase of development of the GRACE device, allowing the size of the QV Bioelectronics team to grow in the process. This will take our innovative electric field therapy technology a few steps closer towards the clinic.”
Deepak Kotak adds: “We are excited to be supporting QV Bioelectronics advance an elegant and novel technology to help improve longevity and quality of life of GBM patients, an area of huge and longstanding unmet medical need.”
Vijay Curthan from Catapult Ventures says: “Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive cancers yet there have been precious few treatment innovations over the decades. We invested in QV because they bring together Manchester’s leadership position in advanced materials with the knowhow of some of the UK’s most pre-eminent neurosurgeons to reimagine the use of electric field therapy – a new modality to treat cancer – in a way that will turn the tide on this devastating disease.”