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Calculus joins Scottish biotech company fundraising with £3.5m investment

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Calculus Capital, the private equity fund manager, has invested a total of £3.5m in Scottish biotechnology company Synpromics.

The investment was made via its Enterprise Investment Scheme Funds and Venture Capital Trust. Calculus was taking part in a £5.2m fundraising round together with Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish government’s economic development agency, and a group of private investors.

Synpromics, which is based in Edinburgh, is a developer of synthetic gene promoters, a vital component in the research and development of gene-based medical treatments and therapies.

A previous investment from Calculus helped the company to expand its team from seven to more than 20 people (over 90% of whom are PhDs), win a number of significant contracts, grow its revenues substantially and receive further grant funding.

Synpromics has recently entered into several high-profile research collaborations, including developing biosynthetic gene promoters with US life sciences giant GE Healthcare.

Most of the new money will be used to further develop Synpromics’ proprietary PromPT synthetic promoter design platform. This enables precise control of gene function in many areas of gene medicine including gene therapy, cell therapy and gene editing.

Chief Executive of Calculus John Glencross said: “We are pleased to be supporting Synpromic’s latest round of fundraising. Since our initial investment in 2015, its performance as a business has been outstanding, with many positive developments, both commercially and in its research, which are putting it on the radar of the major players in life sciences both in Europe and the US.”

Chief Executive of Synpromics David Venables said: “This is a very exciting time for Synpromics. 2017 has got off to a great start, beginning in January when we announced a research collaboration with GE Healthcare, which itself followed a series of important commercial milestones for us.

“The new investment from Calculus Capital, and Scottish Enterprise, puts further momentum behind our current growth trajectory. Calculus’s extensive experience of investing in the biotechnology and life sciences companies, and its network of contacts in those sectors, will continue to be an extremely valuable additional asset to our business.”

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