An Aberdeen firm’s mission to rid the world of a medical condition affecting more than one in 10 people is a step closer after a £5million cash boost from an Oxford-based investment company.
NovaBiotics has spent more than 10 years developing a brush-on treatment for nail fungus.
The US market alone is expected to be worth about £2billion a year by 2020, which underlines the potential riches for NovaBiotics and its Novexatin product.
Novabiotics is also currently working on a drug which could dramatically improve the lives of cystic fibrosis sufferers.
The Craibstone company is a spin-out from research at Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute and was established in 2004.
Chief executive Deborah O’Neill has grown it into a leading biotechnology business, already backed by more than £12million in private-equity finance before yesterday’s announcement of a further £5million cash injection from Woodford Investment Management (Woodford IM).
“The funds will provide working capital to enable NovaBiotics to achieve key value enhancing milestones in the short to mid-term”, Novabiotics said.
Ms O’Neil added: “We have developed highly differentiated, disruptive technologies for a number of clinically unmet, economically significant indications.
“This development is underpinned by excellent science.
“Woodford IM coming on board as an investor reflects that excellence and also where the business currently is in its lifecycle.”
Novabiotics chairman Bryan Bodek added: “This investment validates our model and the hard work that has been done by Deborah and her team over the last 10 years.
“We are delighted to welcome Woodford IM as a significant investor and, together, we are aligned and excited about the next phase of development of the company.”
Woodford IM has taken a stake in Novabiotics in return for its investment. The size of the shareholding was undisclosed.
Novabiotics is now closer to putting a potentially “world-leading” brush-on treatment for nail fungus on sale.
Antimicrobial treatments which kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth, such as those being developed by the firm, are in growing demand around the world as people become more resistant to antibiotics.