4D Medicine (t/a 4D Biomaterials) secures £1.6 million Seed investment led by DSW Ventures

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Medtech firm raises £1.6m for 3D printed implants

A UK medtech company which has developed a new biomaterial used for 3D printing medical implants has completed a £1.6m funding round.

The investment into Nottingham-based 4D Biomaterials was led by DSW Ventures and backed by the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, Mercia’s own funds, and existing investor SFC Capital.

The funding will be used to develop a range of products through partnerships with medical device companies and expand its team with the creation of five new jobs at its premises in MediCity.

4D Biomaterials’ product 4Degra can be printed to the exact shape required in the form of an open cell honeycomb structure and used to improve patient outcomes in a range of applications including tumour removal in breast cancer patients. As natural tissue grows back through the voids, the structure gradually erodes and is expelled harmlessly by the body. 4Degra could also help patients recovering from other types of surgery and trauma, such as that caused by road traffic accidents.

4Degra – which is the only 3D printed material of its type that is also biodegradable – was developed for over 15 years in Professor Andrew Dove’s research group at the University of Warwick and University of Birmingham. Having spun out of the universities last year, the company appointed Phil Smith – an entrepreneur with a track record in biotech spin-outs – as its CEO.

Phil Smith, CEO of 4D Biomaterials said

“I am delighted to welcome DSW Ventures and Mercia on board at this exciting time for the company. The raise was oversubscribed by 60%, helped by the continuing support of SFC Capital and our angel investors. This puts us in a strong position as we move into the next phase of taking our products to market.”

The investment will become the seventh in the portfolio for DSW Ventures, the UK-regional focused venture capital business. Ellie Boardman, Investment Executive at DSW Ventures commented: “We have been extremely impressed by the team and product ever since our first meeting. The technology is constantly evolving, and we have been delighted to follow the company’s ongoing progress throughout the investment process. We believe 4D Biomaterials’ technology is truly innovative and have very high hopes for the company’s future.”

Mercia has a strong track record in the healthcare sector. Companies it has supported using MEIF funding include prosthetics technology firm Adapttech, woundcare therapy specialist NuVision and Locate Bio, which is developing new treatments for patients with spinal conditions.

David Baker, Investment Manager at Mercia added: 

“4D Biotech is pioneering a new generation of biomaterials that offers benefits for patients and the health service alike. Not only could they speed up healing and remove the need for follow-on surgery, whether for tissue reconstruction or to remove the original implant. The funding will enable the company to find partners worldwide.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank added: 

“We’re delighted to see this latest investment from the MEIF support new biotechnologies in the health sector. One of the key objectives of the MEIF is to see companies, like 4D Biomaterials, innovate, develop new products and expand. We encourage other businesses in the region to consider funding options available through the MEIF.”

Sajeeda Rose, Chief Executive of D2N2 LEP said

“Through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, we want ambitious businesses to have the opportunity to grow and innovate, so I’m delighted to see this investment for 4D Bio. The region is known for its healthcare innovation and this investment will support 4D Bio in its growth and create highly skilled jobs for our communities.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

ENDS

About DSW Ventures

DSW Ventures made its first investment in 2018 and is an investor in early-stage scale-up businesses requiring venture funding of more than £250,000, primarily on an EIS basis. It is funded by a growing network of high-net-worth angel investors. DSW Ventures is the trading style of DSW Venture Capital LLP, which is part of the Dow Schofield Watts Group.

DSW Ventures is a partner in British Business Investments’ £100m Regional Angels Programme, designed to help reduce regional imbalances in access to early-stage equity finance for smaller businesses across the UK. British Business Investments is a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, the UK government’s economic development bank.

Dow Schofield Watts is a UK independent advisory and investment group, headquartered in Warrington, Cheshire and with offices in Manchester, Leeds, Aberdeen and London.

About Mercia Asset Management PLC

Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group’s ‘Complete Connected Capital’. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet.

The Group has a strong UK footprint through its regional offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia currently has c.£800million of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested over £96million into its direct investment portfolio. Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC”.

The Group raises its own Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and details about open offers can be found through Mercia’s website.

Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC” and includes the following wholly owned subsidiaries –

  • Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
  • Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
  • EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560

www.mercia.co.uk

About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof of Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.

The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South East Midlands in the East Midlands.

The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands.

The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb

About the British Business Bank

  • The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
  • The British Business Bank’s core programmes support nearly £8bn[1] of finance to almost 94,800 smaller businesses[2]. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has also launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering almost £73bn of finance to around 1.6m businesses.
  • As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
  • In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.
  • British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at www.british-business-bank.co.uk

[1] Figures as at end of June 2020

2 Figures as at 28 January 2021

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Safiya Marzook

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