Perthshire start-up behind 'game-changing' self-cleaning tech gets £1 million injection

A Perthshire start-up behind “game-changing” self-cleaning surface technology has secured a £1 million investment as it looks to go global.

Cleantech specialist Penrhos Bio, which aims to revolutionise global industry with its anti-biofilm system, has secured the cash injection with the support of Fife investment firm Eos Advisory.

The investment will accelerate the commercialisation of its patented platform technology, Remora, developed in collaboration with household goods giant Unilever, that protects surfaces against bacteria, fungi, and algae.

The system is said to provide a “real and sustainable” alternative to disinfectants and antimicrobial agents in domestic and industrial settings.

Andrew Durkie of Eos, and Yvonne Davies and Richard Hammond of Penrhos Bio. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Founded in 2019, the company is already working with multiple corporate partners in industries including agritech, marine, renewables and healthcare ahead of its first phase of commercialisation.

Remora is the result of more than a decade of development with research partners including a number of UK universities. It has been developed based on understanding how the biology of certain red seaweeds provides them with a natural protection against biofilms, keeping them healthy.

The firm now has a powerful sustainable patented method of fighting harmful biofilms caused by multiple species of microbes that can be applied to surfaces, coatings, and incorporated into materials. Penrhos Bio is commercialising Remora in target areas outside home and personal care.

Jon Hague, chairman at Penrhos Bio, and vice president for science and technology at Unilever, said: “Penrhos Bio is positioned to tackle some of the biggest societal and environmental challenges of the 21st century, with a unique technology which is near limitless in its applications, set to revolutionise a number of global industries.”

The next 12 to 18 months will see the company move through the necessary regulatory approval processes alongside its commercial partners, with the firm expected to embark on a series A fund raise from the fourth quarter of 2023.

Richard Hammond, chief executive at Penrhos Bio, said: “Our story is one inspired by nature, with sustainability and the environment front and centre of everything we do. With the support of Eos and a number of private investors, we continue to build the business, grow our team with key hires, further our commercial partnerships, and navigate the regulatory environment ahead of commercialisation.”

Andrew Durkie, partner at St Andrews-based Eos Advisory, said: “Richard and his team are on the verge of commercialising a game-changing technology capable of transforming efficiencies and sustainability across a range of sectors - it is precisely the kind of impact investment Eos was set up to support, and we look forward to supporting Penrhos’s progress over the coming months and years.”

In February, Eos Advisory revealed that its portfolio had reached a total valuation of £121m based on latest investment rounds, after seeing its first two exits in 2021.

The firm, which was founded in 2014 and whose senior ranks include record-breaking endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont, said it had a portfolio of 13 investee companies including Cumulus Oncology, ILC Therapeutics, and Clinspec DX - and one of exits last year included when Genus acquired a large stake in aquaculture specialist Xelect.

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