Mills & Reeve advises Northern Gritstone on two technology investments

Leading national law firm Mills & Reeve has advised university spinout and technology investor Northern Gritstone on two multi-million-pound investments.

Most recently the team has advised Northern Gritstone on its investment into Sheffield University spinout, Crucible Therapeutics. Crucible Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing novel therapies to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), the most common genetic form of motor neurone disease (MND), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

Argobio Studio also participated in the £5 million financing designed to fund essential development and manufacturing work which will take the company up to its first clinical trial.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, co-founder of Crucible Therapeutics, Professor of Neurology at the University of Sheffield and Director of the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), said: “Our novel therapeutic approach has made significant strides in our pursuit of transforming how these devastating diseases are treated and with the potential to achieve meaningful therapeutic impact.

“The significant experience and support that Northern Gritstone and Argobio Studio bring to Crucible further enables our pre-clinical development, and in parallel, allows us to strategically build our translational team.”

Elsewhere, the Mills & Reeve team advised Northern Gritstone on a £2.2m Series A funding into thermal metaphotonics company, AssetCool.

AssetCool has developed a durable coating which can be applied to overhead power lines to increase the performance of electricity networks while reducing energy losses, cost and emissions.

The company was co-founded by Dr Niall Coogan and Barry Johnston at the University of Manchester in 2016 whilst on the EPSRC Power Networks Centre for Doctoral Training. AssetCool relocated to Nexus on The University of Leeds campus in 2019, where its team of physicists, formulation chemists, power engineers and mechatronics experts can benefit from the University’s extensive network of experts and world-leading research in photonics.

The funding will allow the company to advance with the commercial rollout of its coating, as well as to further develop techniques to retrofit the existing grid network with AssetCool’s technology.

Zickie Lim, head of venture capital investment at Mills & Reeve, said: “We are pleased to advise Northern Gritstone on its latest investments into some of the brightest start-ups emerging from universities in Yorkshire and the Northwest.”

“AssetCool is an excellent example of the North’s pioneering technology firms whose cutting-edge innovations are playing an increasing role in addressing global challenges, while Crucible Therapeutics is at the forefront of biotechnology to help treat some of the most debilitating illness that affect thousands of people across the globe. Northern Gritstone has hit the ground running since its launch, investing millions of pounds into the cutting-edge technology businesses across the North of England. Our strong track record of advising Venture Capital investors on early stage and growth capital investments and our presence in the North of England with offices in both Manchester and Leeds make us a great fit to support Northern Gritstone’s investment activity.”

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