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Tuesday 17 September 2019

€30m for Dublin biotech firm founded by Trinity graduate

Dr Nora Khaldi, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Nuritas-photo Kieran Harnett
Dr Nora Khaldi, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Nuritas-photo Kieran Harnett

David Chance

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

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

The loan for the Dublin-based company will be used to increase and accelerate development of artificial intelligence and DNA analysis for healthcare, the company and the bank said in a statement.

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

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.

Dr Khaldi has a PhD in Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics from Trinity. 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.

“During due diligence over recent months the EIB has been impressed by their 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,” the European lender said in a statement

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