Monday 10 December 2018

Biotech firm backed by Bono and The Edge wins €30m funding loan

Loan deal: Dr Nora Khaldi with Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank vice president
Loan deal: Dr Nora Khaldi with Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank vice president

David Chance

A ground-breaking Dublin biotech firm, backed in part by Bono and The Edge, has won €30m in financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in its first direct financing for an Irish firm in the sector.

Nuritas, founded by Dr Nora Khaldi, specialises in studying and isolating the active ingredients in food that can be used to improve human health and lifespans.

The loan will be used to increase and accelerate development of artificial intelligence and DNA analysis for healthcare, the company and the bank said.

Nuritas was set up in 2014 and has identified ways to prevent diabetes using foods and has discovered a peptide that has the capacity to kill the MRSA bacterial infection.

The company was set up by mathematician and bioinformatician Dr Nora Khaldi, who was born in Algeria and has an Irish mother and a French father.

She has a PhD in Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics from TCD. Nuritas was named one of Europe's top 10 most innovative start-up companies by the European Commission in 2016.

Alongside Bono and The Edge are more traditional startup investors Ali Partovi and Mark Benioff. The company was spun out of NovaUCD's Venture Launch Accelerator Programme.

The European lender said it has been impressed by Nuritas' "innovative use of technology and the number of global deals already achieved and they now become the first Irish biotech firm to benefit from the EIB's dedicated European Growth Finance Facility".

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business