University of Glasgow medical spin-out secures £1.7 million for 'life-saving' tech

A medical device specialist that was spun out from the University of Glasgow has secured £1.7 million of funding as it taps into a £1 billion market.

Nebu-Flow was co-founded by its chief executive Elijah Nazarzadeh to address the challenges in drug delivery for respiratory disorders, which are the main cause of death and disability worldwide.

Nazarzadeh led research into the development and commercialisation of nebuliser technology at the University of Glasgow, before founding Nebu-Flow as a spin-out company in 2019.

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The fledgling firm has secured an oversubscribed £1.7m investment round led by Foresight Group, via the private equity and investment manager’s Foresight Williams Technology joint venture between Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering.

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Science Creates Ventures, Ascension Life Science Fund and SIS Ventures participated in the investment aimed at furthering the commercialisation and delivery of next generation respiratory pharmaceuticals.

Nebu-Flow’s nebuliser has been developed to provide a number of advantages over existing technologies in a global nebuliser market valued at almost £1bn. Overall, the worldwide inhalable drug market is estimated to be worth more than £35bn in 2022.

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Nazarzadeh said: “Our technology enables efficient respiratory delivery of a wider range of drugs that are hard to nebulise. Many of these drugs, like biologics, are potentially life-saving. We are pleased to have the support of Foresight and our other investors, whose ambitions for the business are very much aligned with our own.”

The company believes its technology could also potentially help deliver cutting-edge treatments including in areas like gene therapy, while improving outcomes for patients with life limiting conditions such as cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Left to right are K.K. Wopat, Elijah Nazarzadeh and Christian Witte of Nebu-Flow. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Bill Yost, investment manager at Foresight, said: “We are excited to announce our support for such a forward thinking and innovative business. Nebu~Flow’s development of delivery mechanisms tailored to specific drugs represents an opportunity to expand the market and improve patient outcomes.

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“Foresight Williams Technology’s expertise will offer significant value as the company develops its products, and we look forward to working with the team at Nebu-Flow during the next stage of their growth.”

John Pritchard was recently appointed as Nebu-Flow’s chairman. He brings more than 25 years of experience working with GSK, AstraZeneca and Philips, where he was involved in the delivery of multiple products to market. He received the Virginia Commonwealth University award for outstanding research and discovery in respiratory drug delivery in 2018.

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Pritchard said: “Elijah leads a highly motivated team developing pioneering technology, positioned to make a significant impact in global markets, and I look forward to continuing to guide and support the company as it enters its next phase of growth.”

Nebu-Flow also plans to hire for a number of additional positions this year, including scientific, research, product design and developer roles.

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In 2019, private equity investment manager Foresight Group launched an office in Edinburgh.

The move came as Foresight was named as a fund manager to the Scottish Growth Scheme (SGS), a £500 million business support package. To support the deployment of the Foresight fund, the investment manager established a local team in its Edinburgh office.

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