4D Biomaterials completes £1.6m ($2.2m) seed round

4D Biomaterials has just completed a £1.6m ($2.2m) seed investment round led by DSW Ventures and backed by the MEIF Proof of Concept and Early Stage Fund which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, Mercia’s own funds, and existing investor SFC Capital.

The company’s leading product 4Degra™ can be 3D printed into finely detailed porous scaffold structures intended to improve patient outcomes across a range of medical applications, potentially including the treatment of breast cancer, as shown in the 4D Conserva™ video explainer and the management of trauma, such as that caused by road traffic accidents and battlefield injuries.

The funding will be used to further develop the 4Degra™ resin-ink product range, scale-up production capacity and establish collaborative partnerships with leading 3D printing machine manufacturers and medical device companies. The company also plans to expand its team with the creation of five new jobs at its premises in MediCity, Nottingham, by the end of next year.

The technology was developed over 15 years in Professor Andrew Dove’s research group, originally at the University of Warwick, and latterly at the University of Birmingham. Having spun out of the universities in April of last year, the company’s founders appointed Phil Smith, an entrepreneur with a track record in university spin-outs – as its CEO.

Phil said “I am delighted to welcome DSW Ventures and Mercia on board at this exciting time for the company. The raise was oversubscribed by 60%, helped by the continuing support of SFC Capital and our Angel investors. This puts us in a strong position as we move into the next phase of taking our products to market”.

The investment will become the seventh in the portfolio for DSW Ventures, the UK-regional focused venture capital business. Ellie Boardman, Investment Executive at DSW Ventures commented: “We have been extremely impressed by the team and product ever since our first meeting. The technology is constantly evolving, and we have been delighted to follow the company’s ongoing progress throughout the investment process. We believe 4D Biomaterials’ technology is truly innovative and have very high hopes for the company’s future.”

David Baker, Investment Manager at Mercia added: “4D Biomaterials is pioneering a new generation of biocompatible polymers that offer benefits for patients and the health service alike. Not only could they speed up healing and remove the need for follow-on surgery, whether for tissue reconstruction or to remove the original implant. The funding will enable the company to find partners worldwide.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank added: “We’re delighted to see this latest investment from the MEIF support new biotechnologies in the health sector. One of the key objectives of the MEIF is to see companies, like 4D Biomaterials, innovate, develop new products and expand. We encourage other businesses in the region to consider funding options available through the MEIF.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.