Transdermal patch start-up and University of Warwick spin-off Medherant bags £3.8m

The new funding will support Medherant as it moves into clinical development and the commercialisation of its ibuprofen TEPI Patch

Medherant Limited, a University of Warwick-spinout start-up that develops a transdermal drug delivery patch, has raised £3.8m in its latest funding round.

Based in Coventry, the medtech business was primarily backed by Mercia Technologies, a venture capital firm that specalises in investing in high-growth regional start-ups, to the tune of £2.5m.

Just last week, Mercia Technologies announced that it had raised £45.1m to invest in ambitious regional businesses via a new fund called EV Growth II.

As a result of this latest raise, Mercia's direct equity shareholding in Medherant has now risen from 11.3% to 32.4% – while other backers included private investors and other current shareholders.

Medherant’s TEPI Patch is a novel proprietary platform capable of delivering higher doses of drugs through the skin to act locally or systemically.

Its claimed transdermal delivery has many advantages, including fewer side effects, improved patient compliance and the potential to deliver drugs that are unsuitable for oral administration.

Since Mercia’s first investment in June 2015 through its managed funds, Medherant has secured an exclusive licence agreement with Bostik SA, a leading adhesive specialist, to use its novel pressure sensitive adhesive material in the development of the company’s TEPI Patch.

The fresh funds will help Medherant move into clinical development and the commercialisation of its ibuprofen TEPI Patch, as well as initiating development of its second product, a lidocaine TEPI Patch.

Nigel Davis, CEO of Medherant, said:

“We are grateful to have the continued financial support of Mercia and pleased to be working closely with the team as we move into the next exciting phase of Medherant’s development.

“Our TEPI Patch technology is generating global interest and we are now working with several leading pharmaceutical companies as we develop our own product pipeline.”

Mark Payton, chief executive officer at Mercia, said:

“Medherant’s highly versatile platform is compatible with a wide range of drugs, enabling a transdermal route to market for drugs not currently suitable for formulation with existing delivery technologies.

“The company’s first product, Ibuprofen TEPI Patch, will be manufactured at AdhexPharma in France for clinical trials in early 2018.

Led by Dr Nicola Broughton, investment director and head of universities at Mercia, we have been working with the founders since inception, initially through our managed funds and are now scaling the business with a further direct investment.

“This has increased our equity holding in what potentially may become a very valuable business.”