Investment Fund for Scotland announces first major deal

29/01/2024
Left to Right: David Milroy (Maven Capital Partners), Ishani Malhotra (Carcinotech) and Sarah Newbould (BBB)

THE BRITISH Business Bank has today announced its first major deal from the £150m Investment Fund for Scotland, with a £750,000 equity investment, through appointed fund managers Maven Capital Partners into medical technology business Carcinotech.   

Edinburgh-based Carcinotech has raised £4.2 million as part of its latest funding round and has plans to expand into the US later this year. Using its Carcino3D technology, the startup creates 3D bioprinted tumor models using cancer cell lines derived from patients, providing a platform for rapid, ethical, and accurate drug screening, as well as pre-clinical and 

personalised medicine testing to support cancer treatment. 

Ishani Malhotra, CEO and Founder of Carcinotech, said: “Our vision is to be at the 

forefront of cancer drug testing and provide personalised medicine testing to every individual suffering from cancer to improve their treatment and chance of survival. Working with global partners, leading pharma companies, surgeons, pathologists, and clinicians, Carcinotech aims to significantly accelerate oncology drug development.” 

In October, Carcinotech announced a partnership with Gothenburg-headquartered 

CELLINK, leveraging CELLINK’s bioprinting solutions and Carcinotech’s expertise in 

producing bioprinted living tumours to develop cutting-edge cell line cancer models. Ishani Malhotra added: “As part of ongoing commercialisation, we have built strong industry 

partnerships in Europe, and are now actively engaged in replicating these in North America.”  

Carcinotech has also strengthened its board, chaired by industry veteran Albert Nicholl, and launched a scientific advisory board last year with world renowned oncology leaders.

Launched in October 2023 by the UK Government-backed British Business Bank, the 

Investment Fund for Scotland aims to boost the supply of early-stage finance to small and medium-sized businesses across the country.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, at the British Business Bank, said: “Carcinotech has huge potential to transform the way cancer treatments are tested and developed with its advanced 3D bioprinting technology. The investment marks a significant milestone for the Bank’s Investment Fund for Scotland and so we are especially pleased to see it is supporting a female-founder leading the effort to deliver this cutting-edge medical technology as well as the company’s international expansion..”

David Milroy, Partner at Maven, said: “Carcinotech’s progress over the last 12 months has been impressive and the company is ideally placed to capitalise on the need for more predictive, non-animal models for testing of anti-cancer drugs and the huge opportunity for 

personalised medicine in cancer treatment. Carcinotech’s models are reproducible and provided in a familiar format for high-throughput screening, key requirements for adoption by the pharmaceutical industry for the testing of drug candidates. I am very much looking 

forward to working with Ishani and her team and to drawing on Maven’s vast experience of backing smaller businesses to help scale this important business.”

Anne Muir, Director of Portfolio at St Andrews-based investment firm Eos, said: “Ishani and her team are breaking new ground in oncology, they combine a deep knowledge of the field with technology-driven systems that are set to bring about greater efficiencies in cancer research workflows.  At Eos, we back innovative companies that positively impact the world and we are excited to continue our support as Carcinotech builds on its commercial traction and enters its next phase of growth from a base in Scotland.”

Eos Advisory (Eos) led the investment alongside Maven Capital Partners, Scottish Enterprise, Old College Capital, Investing Women, and existing investors TRICAPITAL, SIS Ventures, Gabriel Investment, and Alba Equity.  The Maven investment is via the Investment Fund for Scotland, which Maven manages through Maven Equity Finance on behalf of the British Business Bank

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