Jellagen, an innovative biotech company and leader in biomaterials derived from jellyfish, has closed a successful £8.7m Series A equity investment round.
The Development Bank of Wales invested £1.2 million in equity into the Cardiff based-company as part of the round, bringing it closer to human trials of its pioneering soft-tissue healing tech, which uses collagen derived from jellyfish to help heal human organs.
Most collagen used in treatments comes from mammals such as pigs, cows and rats, which can increase the risk of diseases or viruses when used in humans.
The jellyfish-sourced collagen – also known as Collagen Type 0 – used by Jellagen has shown improved results in tests when compared to mammal-sourced collagen in preclinical testing.
The funding will allow Jellagen to continue its development of its jellyfish-derived collagen and advance its leading program of product development towards human trials and regulatory filing.
Cardiff City Deal also backed the investment round with £2 million, with the goal of building medical device expertise in South Wales and growing the sector in the region.
The company has established development collaborations with top research organisations including the Mayo Clinic in the US and Europe to investigate and corroborate these findings.
Thomas-Paul Descamps CEO of Jellagen comments;
“It is a great achievement and a major step to have secured this pivotal Series A round in such a challenging economic environment. I want first to thank our new investors and our existing shareholders for their trust in the incredible potential of the Jellagen technology platform.
“Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and the Development Bank of Wales are providing us with a unique local Welsh ecosystem to support the growth of Jellagen as a future global medical devices and biomaterial leader based in Wales. In addition, the investment of Thai Union is a game-changer in securing Jellagen sourcing and enabling future manufacturing scaleup. Combining the immense possibilities of our Collagen Type 0 with this enlarged investor base will help unleash the considerable potential of the Jellagen technology platform.”
Mark Bowman, Deputy Fund Manager at the Development Bank of Wales, said:
“We’re hugely pleased to have backed Jellagen as part of this funding round.
“Wales is host to a number of pioneering biotech companies and we were pleased to join the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal in supporting Jellagen – our combined backing will allow us to grow a sector which is already strong in the region, and strengthens Wales’ position as host to a thriving medical sciences sector.”
The second investor is Thai Union Group PCL – a global marine industry leader investing through its investment vehicle, the Thai Union Corporate Venture Capital Fund.
Thai Union focuses its investments on new technologies along the marine products value chain, food value chain, alternative proteins, functional nutrition and biotechnology. Thai Union is investing and actively partnering with these companies to support and accelerate their development.
The rest of the round is funded by existing UK and international shareholders, mainly business angels.
These new and existing shareholders -convinced by the data generated from recently completed pre-clinical models – showed excitement and interest to enable Jellagen to reach a major milestone: this round will now support safety data generation and prototype validation bringing its major medical development project closer to the next step of human trials and regulatory filing. They also see their investment as a unique opportunity to invest in both the blue and the green economy.