Belfast-based biotechnology company, SiSaf Ltd, has secured an interim funding round of £400k led by US investors in Silicon Valley and Innovation Ulster Limited (IUL), with additional capital injections from Clarendon Fund Managers Ltd and a private investor.
Speaking at the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) Silicon Valley Global Tech Summit 2015 in Dublin, Ireland, ITLG’s President John Hartnett, who is a partner at SVG Partners and the chairman of the SiSaf Board, expressed his delight in making the announcement. “SVG are proud to have been early investors in SiSaf and our belief in the company – its technology and its team – and how it’s moving forward led us to make a further investment as it expands into new sectors.”
SiSaf are innovators in creating solutions for the safe and effective delivery of bioactive molecules. SiSaf’s founder and CEO, Dr Suzanne Saffie-Siebert explains, “Our technology facilitates the delivery of compounds to support new concepts for medicines, vaccines, nutrition and skincare products by overcoming product challenges in stability, solubility and controlled release.” With looming challenges in the control of bacterial infections, smart technology delivery systems will play a key role in current and new generation anti-infective agents.
In mid-2014, the company announced a significant move into the animal health sector with the appointment of two senior managers – immunologist Dr Michael Welsh, Chief Scientific Officer, and veterinary surgeon Dr Simon Doherty, Director of Operations & Business Development. This has helped to expand the range of market opportunities for the company by exploring applications in the agri-food sector, such as improving the efficacy and safety of livestock vaccines, and maximising the cost-effectiveness of livestock feed additives,” added Dr Saffie-Siebert. “
We are also in discussions with several global veterinary pharmaceutical companies about the possibilities created by embedding our platform in products for the improved health and welfare of our companion animals.” In October 2014, the company announced that a clinical test of an acne treatment using its technology showed a 95% reduction in facial acne after 30 days. SiSaf is now in talks with potential commercial partners for a skincare and anti-acne product line. SiSaf continues to define the technical capabilities of its biocompatible silicon-based technology platform and is exploring the development of a range of ‘off the shelf’ formulation products, in addition to its bespoke formulation design service. The current funding round will enable the company to grow its infrastructure and facilitate further product development, including exploiting licensing opportunities in the human and animal health sectors.