Aura Capital and Industry Investment made EUR 400,000 follow-on investment in biotech company

11.11.2008

Aura Capital Oy and government-owned investment company Finnish Industry Investment Ltd have made a follow-on investment amounting to EUR 400,000 in Chip-Man Technologies Ltd, a company that develops live cell analysis systems.

 

Today’s companies increasingly use cell-based testing and more complex cell models in developing pharmaceuticals as they seek to predict the behaviour of medicines in patients and human cells. The products that Chip-Man develops enable researchers to obtain results that would not be possible using conventional methods. Cell-based tests could also reduce the need for animal testing.

 

The company’s Cell-IQ® is a modular product based on machine vision. The modules can be combined to give the customer a tailored product. Chip-Man’s customers are mainly pharmaceuticals development companies and research institutes, including Tampere University (Regea Institute for Regenerative Medicine Regea, and Cell Research Centre), Helsinki University (Viikki 2 and Biomedicum 1), the Blood Service of the Finnish Red Cross, Sweden’s Karolinska Insitutet, the pharmaceuticals companies AstraZeneca, Novartis and Sanofi-Aventis.

 

“We’ve just expanded our operation into China and Russia through cooperation partners. We’ll use this capital to boost production and further develop business in new market areas,” explains Chip-Man Technologies Ltd’s CEO Jane Spencer-Fry.

 

“The company has had a promising start to launching sales, and now has attractive and growing markets as well as the opportunity to widen its product family and acquire new customer groups,” says Aura Capital’s partner Matti Hautsalo.

 

“There’s a clear need for Chip-Man’s analysis systems, and there are no competitors in today’s market that can match their level of automation or delivery scope. The company’s strengths lie in its strong technological expertise, reliable network of partners and influential customers,” points out Industry Investment’s Investment Manager Heli Kukko.

 

Aura Capital and Industry Investment made an initial investment in Chip-Man Technologies in 2004. Chip-Man Technologies collaborates closely with the University of Tampere and the University of Helsinki.

 

 


Chip-Man Technologies
Ltd was founded in 2002 through collaboration between researchers from Tampere University and the Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT. The founders of Chip-Man Technologies have combined their expertise in cell biology, engineering and machine vision technology to develop and market unique products for live cell imaging and analysis. The company focuses on providing researchers with tools that will enable them to study live cell behaviour in an optimised and stable environment and analyse the findings automatically. The company’s products are used globally, supporting the research efforts of scientists in areas such as cell biology, stem cell research, functional genomics, in vitro toxicology, and in vitro fertilisation. Chip-Man Technologies is located in Tampere, Finland, and employs 6 staff. The company has a two-person sales organisation in Great Britain. www.chipmantech.com

Aura Capital Oy is a private venture capital firm founded in 1997. Aura Capital has since invested in over 30 companies and exited from 12. Aura Capital invests in innovate start-ups and early stage companies that have exceptional intellectual capital and growth opportunities, with the emphasis on software development and the mobile, biotech and nanotechnology sectors. Initial investments range between EUR 500,000 and EUR 1.5 million. www.auratum.com

 

Finnish Industry Investment Ltd is a government-owned investment company. It invests the proceeds accrued from the privatisation of state-owned companies in stimulating the growth and internationalisation of Finnish businesses. Finnish Industry Investment invests in venture capital funds and directly in growth companies, together with private co-investors. The targets are in all sectors. Capital investments are needed for financing the growth of investee companies, and for spin-offs, major industrial investments, and sector and corporate restructurings. The investments of Finnish Industry Investment amount to some EUR 470 million. www.industryinvestment.com

 

 


Further information:

 

- Juha Korpinen, COO, Chip-Man Technologies Ltd
mobile +358 40 545 1883, juha.korpinen (at) chipmantech.com

 

- Matti Hautsalo, Partner, Aura Capital Oy
mobile +358 40 828 8373, matti.hautsalo (at) auratum.com

 

- Heli Kukko, Investment Manager, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd
mobile +358 400 772 833, heli.kukko (at) industryinvestment.com