Sisaf a UK-based next-gen silicon nanotechnology drug delivery company has received a decent S$4.9million investment from Singapore’s Vickers Venture Partners, a venture capital (VC) firm along with Exen Capital.
SiSaf has developed a unique method that improves the way drugs can be administered to patients.
Suzanne Saffie-Siebert, founder and chairperson of SiSaf, said “We are delighted to have Vickers Venture Partners and Exen Capital as strategic investors. SiSaf is at a very exciting point in its history.”
She continues, “After years of R&D, our technology is ready for full commercialization. Our drug delivery platform has matured into a genuine game changer and its potential applications are massive. Vickers and Exen have a great track record of building companies and their global network and expertise in the life science sector will be key to accelerating SiSaf’s growth.’’
The transaction will also see Dr Elkhalil Binebine, Vice Chairman at Vickers, and Eric Attias, Managing Partner at Exen Capital, will join SiSaf’s board of directors. Invest Northern Ireland, an investor in earlier rounds, also followed on in this round. The investment will be used to fund sales expansion in new markets and increase product research and development.
“We see a new wave of innovative medicines emerging from recent breakthroughs in the life sciences. However, getting these medicines to the right place in the body and at the right dose remains hugely challenging.” said Dr Binebine.
He continues to add, “The groundbreaking Bio-Adaptive Nanosilicon drug delivery technology that Suzanne and the team have developed enables safe and effective targeting of these new drugs, as well as making old drugs even more useful by allowing for controlled release and lower doses. We’re excited to be working together with them to build a world-leading drug delivery company.”
Cientifica a Speciality Nano-Technology firm published a white paper in 2007, predicted that nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery systems (DDS) would reshape existing existing DDS methods. It also predicted in early 2016 period, nano-enabled technologies would take the majority of market share, with nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery systems (NDDS) enabling novel pharmaceutical therapies, superior targeting of disease sites and reducing treatment costs. In 2014 a Dutch research paper suggested that the value of nano-technology market will grow from $1 billion in 2010 to $136 billion by 2021.
The tech is based on “A patented elemental nano-silicon.” The company can customize drugs in order to make them easier to administer or to have more control of the dosage and time of release.
For example, a less soluble drug that needs to be injected directly into the bloodstream could have its solubility enhanced through SiSaf’s method and be administered as a pill. A drug that’s toxic in large doses could be delivered in smaller, controlled releases.
The investment comes from Vickers’ recently announced fifth fund, which has a target size of S$350 million. The investor is targeting early-stage companies, from seed up to series A and B, in areas including media and telecommunications, financial services, and life sciences.
Vickers will help open up pathways for SiSaf in Asia and the US.
Biotech and life sciences are attractive but challenging sectors for investors, as breakthroughs in that space can take a while to come out and are subject to strict regulations.
SiSaf was founded in 2008 and is based in Belfast. It has developed a unique method of drug delivery that improves the way drugs can be administered to patients.