Saturday 18 November 2017

Malin takes 32pc stake in Yale spin-off Artizan

The world's first test-tube chicken meat has been unveiled by scientists, who hope to start supplying supermarkets within four years. Stock image
The world's first test-tube chicken meat has been unveiled by scientists, who hope to start supplying supermarkets within four years. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Irish investment firm Malin has taken a 32pc stake in a Yale University spin-off, Artizan Biosciences.

Malin revealed yesterday that it had invested in a $3m (€2.8m) founding equity round alongside Hatteras Venture Partners, a venture-capital firm with which Malin has a strategic partnership. That fundraising took place last October.

Artizan is a newly-created biotechnology company headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.

It has labs in New Haven, Connecticut. It was founded to develop treatments for diseases involving the human intestinal microbiota - the microbe population living in human intestines. Its lead drug development programme is aimed at inflammatory bowel disease. Artizan has developed a capability of distinguishing certain pathogenic bacteria.

The ability to target these bacteria could lead to treatment options for a number of digestive disorders as well as other diseases including obesity, autoimmune disease and a wide variety of skin, lung and central nervous system diseases.

Last year, Artizan had told the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it was seeking to raise as much as $5m. It later told the SEC that it had raised a total of $3m from five investors, with the remaining $2m still to be raised.

It's the second investment Malin has confirmed this year.

Last month, it said it had taken a 33pc stake in UK biopharma firm Wren Therapeutics. Wren is developing technology to treat neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Wren was spun out of the University of Cambridge and Lund University in Sweden.

Under the terms of the agreement, Malin has an option to increase its stake in Wren to 67pc.

The investment in Artizan brings to almost 20 the number of companies Malin has invested in since it was established in 2014. Its co-founders include former Elan chief executive Kelly Martin. He is also the chief executive at Malin, and owns about 7pc of the company.

Mr Martin was chief executive of Elan from 2003 until it was sold for $8.6bn to Perrigo in 2013. Malin floated on the stock market in 2015.

By the end of June last year, Malin had invested in 16 companies, including Dublin-based medical imaging firm 3D4Medical. It had raised a total of €380m in capital, with €313m of that having been invested by the end of the first half of the year.

Irish Independent

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