12 blogs
  • In this column I have previously outlined what I believe are the key principles for a contemporary and effective Industrial Strategy. The UK ranks third in the world for start-up businesses but not so well in the follow-up phase. The Business Growth Fund has demonstrated that there is significant demand for funding small and medium-sized businesses that have gone past the start-up stage. We have a long way to go, however, in performing as well as the US in this crucial area of the economy. I have been a long-standing and committed supporter of start-ups through my role as a “business angel”. Angel investors are typically established entrepreneurs and business leaders. In addition to deploying our own cash in seeding highly innovative, often disruptive and inevitably risky, new businesses, we are passionate about mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
    4 Posted by administrator
  • In this column I have previously outlined what I believe are the key principles for a contemporary and effective Industrial Strategy. The UK ranks third in the world for start-up businesses but not so well in the follow-up phase. The Business Growth Fund has demonstrated that there is significant demand for funding small and medium-sized businesses that have gone past the start-up stage. We have a long way to go, however, in performing as well as the US in this crucial area of the economy. I have been a long-standing and committed supporter of start-ups through my role as a “business angel”. Angel investors are typically established entrepreneurs and business leaders. In addition to deploying our own cash in seeding highly innovative, often disruptive and inevitably risky, new businesses, we are passionate about mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
    Jun 26, 2017 4
  • Recent coverage on the BBC has focused on UK technology companies, and has posed the question of whether the UK can compete in the global technology industry. One only has to think of Google and Facebook to realise how far behind the US we are in the UK. Where are the UK’s world leading technology giants, and what more must we do to support them?A number of tech entrepreneurs as well as investment specialist have offered their views on what they believe the problem is. Not surprisingly, the common theme amongst them is the struggle that businesses face for funding. However, and perhaps surprisingly, the problem doesn’t lie with seed and start-up capital. In the UK we are actually very good at nurturing small businesses, and the government and organisations such as the NHS have worked hard to support innovation and university spin outs, particularly in the sectors that the UK is strongest in, including life science, healthcare and technology. Instead, the problem is later in the life cycle of these businesses, when they move on to commercialising the product or service that they have built. They need to scale up to meet the demand that they have created, as well as having the fire-power to break into new markets. Neil Woodford, who set up his Patient Capital fund to invest in UK venture was quoted by the BBC this week responding to a question about scale up capital:"We have been appallingly bad at giving those minnows the long-term capital they need" Why then do they struggle to attract investment? The answer is quite simply because the UK’s fund management industry has no place for venture in its portfolios. A thriving, high growth technology company is considered far too risky. As long as this attitude holds sway, the evolution of the UK tech sector will be impeded. We have observed this over the last 10 years, as we have watched a gap open up between the early seed and start up rounds and the later Series A or first institutional investment round. Where not so long ago a Series A might have closed within 3-4 years of seed funding, it is now more likely to be 5-7 years afterwards, if that soon. It is precisely at this stage, what we have termed the “bridge to Series A stage”, that Juno focuses its investment activity. The businesses we are working with are not struggling, far from it. These companies are selected by us for (a) generating more than £1m of annual recurring revenue and (b) growing at unprecedented rates, often with revenue growth in excess of 100%, year on year. Working with Swansea University’s School of Management, Juno has been involved in research to understand why the gatekeepers to the UK’s personal wealth are not supporting venture as effectively as they might. It is a serious problem and our research has left us in little doubt that until the investment industry, specifically IFAs and fund managers, consider an allocation to later stage commercialisation, or scale up stage venture in their portfolios, the UK venture industry will continue to struggle for funding to support growth to any significant scale. The UK government’s EIS regime has, to a meaningful degree, facilitated the evolution of a world-leading entrepreneurial sector at the start up stage by off-setting an element of the perceived risk against tax relief. Similar policy making focused on the scale up stage is now required to support the development of that sector to maturity. If the fiscal and regulatory incentives are in place for investors, there seems little doubt that British innovation will be well-placed to compete on the global stage and perhaps then we will see our own Google, Facebook or Uber. Dr Julian HickmanPartnerJuno Capital LLP@junocapitalwww.junocapital.co.uk
    1070 Posted by administrator
  • Recent coverage on the BBC has focused on UK technology companies, and has posed the question of whether the UK can compete in the global technology industry. One only has to think of Google and Facebook to realise how far behind the US we are in the UK. Where are the UK’s world leading technology giants, and what more must we do to support them?A number of tech entrepreneurs as well as investment specialist have offered their views on what they believe the problem is. Not surprisingly, the common theme amongst them is the struggle that businesses face for funding. However, and perhaps surprisingly, the problem doesn’t lie with seed and start-up capital. In the UK we are actually very good at nurturing small businesses, and the government and organisations such as the NHS have worked hard to support innovation and university spin outs, particularly in the sectors that the UK is strongest in, including life science, healthcare and technology. Instead, the problem is later in the life cycle of these businesses, when they move on to commercialising the product or service that they have built. They need to scale up to meet the demand that they have created, as well as having the fire-power to break into new markets. Neil Woodford, who set up his Patient Capital fund to invest in UK venture was quoted by the BBC this week responding to a question about scale up capital:"We have been appallingly bad at giving those minnows the long-term capital they need" Why then do they struggle to attract investment? The answer is quite simply because the UK’s fund management industry has no place for venture in its portfolios. A thriving, high growth technology company is considered far too risky. As long as this attitude holds sway, the evolution of the UK tech sector will be impeded. We have observed this over the last 10 years, as we have watched a gap open up between the early seed and start up rounds and the later Series A or first institutional investment round. Where not so long ago a Series A might have closed within 3-4 years of seed funding, it is now more likely to be 5-7 years afterwards, if that soon. It is precisely at this stage, what we have termed the “bridge to Series A stage”, that Juno focuses its investment activity. The businesses we are working with are not struggling, far from it. These companies are selected by us for (a) generating more than £1m of annual recurring revenue and (b) growing at unprecedented rates, often with revenue growth in excess of 100%, year on year. Working with Swansea University’s School of Management, Juno has been involved in research to understand why the gatekeepers to the UK’s personal wealth are not supporting venture as effectively as they might. It is a serious problem and our research has left us in little doubt that until the investment industry, specifically IFAs and fund managers, consider an allocation to later stage commercialisation, or scale up stage venture in their portfolios, the UK venture industry will continue to struggle for funding to support growth to any significant scale. The UK government’s EIS regime has, to a meaningful degree, facilitated the evolution of a world-leading entrepreneurial sector at the start up stage by off-setting an element of the perceived risk against tax relief. Similar policy making focused on the scale up stage is now required to support the development of that sector to maturity. If the fiscal and regulatory incentives are in place for investors, there seems little doubt that British innovation will be well-placed to compete on the global stage and perhaps then we will see our own Google, Facebook or Uber. Dr Julian HickmanPartnerJuno Capital LLP@junocapitalwww.junocapital.co.uk
    Sep 20, 2016 1070
  • Your existing marketing playbook just isn’t performing anymore. People are ignoring your ads, few users are clicking through, conversions are dropping. It’s getting harder and harder to acquire new customers every day.   Buyapowa’s Head of Product, James Grant, has the answer: alt acquisition. If you came to our event in April 2016, you’ll have seen his fantastic keynote address, explaining the science behind those diminishing returns and exploring alternative ways to supplement your acquisition - complete with compelling examples from Betty Crocker, via Ryanair right up to Tesla.   If you missed it, don’t worry. You can see the video that got everyone talking above.   Enjoy the video!
    751 Posted by administrator
  • Your existing marketing playbook just isn’t performing anymore. People are ignoring your ads, few users are clicking through, conversions are dropping. It’s getting harder and harder to acquire new customers every day.   Buyapowa’s Head of Product, James Grant, has the answer: alt acquisition. If you came to our event in April 2016, you’ll have seen his fantastic keynote address, explaining the science behind those diminishing returns and exploring alternative ways to supplement your acquisition - complete with compelling examples from Betty Crocker, via Ryanair right up to Tesla.   If you missed it, don’t worry. You can see the video that got everyone talking above.   Enjoy the video!
    May 10, 2016 751
  • 26th April 2016, Belfast and Cambridge, UK: Queen's University Belfast and Domainex Ltd. announced today that they have secured a late-stage award from the Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery scheme to advance therapeutic candidate molecules into clinical evaluation for treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).   The cell death regulatory protein FLIP is believed to be a key regulator of tumour cell survival that promotes tumour growth and resistance to standard therapies. The award will allow the partners to accelerate the optimisation and early development of first-in-class small molecule inhibitors that block FLIP's pro-survival functions. The inhibitors invented by the team have already shown efficacy in pre-clinical models of NSCLC, a disease that represents around 90% of all lung cancers diagnosed and accounts for the highest rate of cancer death worldwide, with over one million deaths annually.   This next phase of the collaboration will allow the completion of pre-clinical studies and progression of the inhibitors to first in human phase 1 clinical evaluation following regulatory approval. Trevor Perrior, Research Director at Domainex, commented: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Dr. Daniel Longley, Prof. Timothy Harrison and their team at Queen's University Belfast. The additional funding secured from the Wellcome Trust is a clear endorsement of the strength of the integrated drug discovery platform of Domainex to deliver compounds with the potential to provide life-changing treatments for serious diseases. Domainex will continue to provide its expertise in medicinal chemistry, ADME and physicochemical profiling. We remain deeply committed to supporting academic translational research. We look forward to working further with Dan, Tim and their colleagues to take our jointly-discovered compounds into patients.”   Dr Daniel Longley added: “Resistance to current treatments for non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers is a major clinical problem. Our work at Queen's has demonstrated that FLIP is frequently overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers and that this promotes resistance to chemotherapy. More recently, we have found that FLIP also promotes resistance to radiotherapy. Targeting FLIP directly is extremely challenging; however, by combining our understanding of the biology of FLIP with the expertise of the team at Domainex, we have now developed first-in-class small-molecule FLIP inhibitors that this award from the Wellcome Trust will enable us to take all the way into clinical evaluation in patients”.   - ENDS -   Editors Notes   Cancer Research at Queen's University Belfast   The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) was developed with the explicit aim of translating basic scientific programmes into the clinical arena and is a dynamic research Centre within the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences in Queen's University Belfast. Adjacent to the Northern Ireland Clinical Cancer Centre on the Belfast City Hospital campus, CCRCB is the first Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Ireland and is one of 15 Cancer Research UK (CRUK) designated Centres of Excellence in the UK. The Centre was also awarded Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) status, one of 18 such UK Centres. For further information on our research programmes, please visit the CCRCB website: www.qub.ac.uk/ccrcb/.   About Domainex   Established in 2001, Domainex Ltd. is a privately owned, rapidly growing Cambridge, UK-based small-molecule, integrated drug discovery company that provides services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic partners globally. Services cover a wide span of the drug discovery process, from disease target validation to pre-clinical candidate nomination. Domainex's services include recombinant protein expression and use of its proprietary technology platform, Combinatorial Domain Hunting to identify soluble protein fragments for structural, biophysical and bioassay uses. Hit finding activities encompass assay development and screening utilising its BioassayBuilder and LeadBuilder portfolios. The core of the service platform is undertaking multi-parameter medicinal chemistry optimisation of hits and leads under the mantra ‘every compound counts', which can save up to 30% of average industry time.   Domainex will be moving to a new facility at Chesterford Research Park near Cambridge in summer 2016. The new facility will provide a near three-fold increased footprint and allow it to continue its growth strategy focused on providing best-in-class drug discovery services utilising its proprietary technology platforms and in-depth expertise of its skilled employees.   For more information please visit www.domainex.co.uk   About the Wellcome Trust   The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. Our investment portfolio gives us the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, our free venue for the incurably curious that explores medicine, life and art. www.wellcome.ac.uk   Media Enquiries   For Domainex, please contact: Trevor Perrior Research Director Domainex Trevor.Perrior@domainex.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1223 743170   Deborah Cockerill Sciad Communications deborah@sciad.com Tel: +44 (0)79 3031 7729   For Queen's University Belfast, please contact: Communications Office comms.office@qub.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 9079 3091
    1093 Posted by administrator
  • 26th April 2016, Belfast and Cambridge, UK: Queen's University Belfast and Domainex Ltd. announced today that they have secured a late-stage award from the Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery scheme to advance therapeutic candidate molecules into clinical evaluation for treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).   The cell death regulatory protein FLIP is believed to be a key regulator of tumour cell survival that promotes tumour growth and resistance to standard therapies. The award will allow the partners to accelerate the optimisation and early development of first-in-class small molecule inhibitors that block FLIP's pro-survival functions. The inhibitors invented by the team have already shown efficacy in pre-clinical models of NSCLC, a disease that represents around 90% of all lung cancers diagnosed and accounts for the highest rate of cancer death worldwide, with over one million deaths annually.   This next phase of the collaboration will allow the completion of pre-clinical studies and progression of the inhibitors to first in human phase 1 clinical evaluation following regulatory approval. Trevor Perrior, Research Director at Domainex, commented: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Dr. Daniel Longley, Prof. Timothy Harrison and their team at Queen's University Belfast. The additional funding secured from the Wellcome Trust is a clear endorsement of the strength of the integrated drug discovery platform of Domainex to deliver compounds with the potential to provide life-changing treatments for serious diseases. Domainex will continue to provide its expertise in medicinal chemistry, ADME and physicochemical profiling. We remain deeply committed to supporting academic translational research. We look forward to working further with Dan, Tim and their colleagues to take our jointly-discovered compounds into patients.”   Dr Daniel Longley added: “Resistance to current treatments for non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers is a major clinical problem. Our work at Queen's has demonstrated that FLIP is frequently overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers and that this promotes resistance to chemotherapy. More recently, we have found that FLIP also promotes resistance to radiotherapy. Targeting FLIP directly is extremely challenging; however, by combining our understanding of the biology of FLIP with the expertise of the team at Domainex, we have now developed first-in-class small-molecule FLIP inhibitors that this award from the Wellcome Trust will enable us to take all the way into clinical evaluation in patients”.   - ENDS -   Editors Notes   Cancer Research at Queen's University Belfast   The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) was developed with the explicit aim of translating basic scientific programmes into the clinical arena and is a dynamic research Centre within the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences in Queen's University Belfast. Adjacent to the Northern Ireland Clinical Cancer Centre on the Belfast City Hospital campus, CCRCB is the first Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Ireland and is one of 15 Cancer Research UK (CRUK) designated Centres of Excellence in the UK. The Centre was also awarded Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) status, one of 18 such UK Centres. For further information on our research programmes, please visit the CCRCB website: www.qub.ac.uk/ccrcb/.   About Domainex   Established in 2001, Domainex Ltd. is a privately owned, rapidly growing Cambridge, UK-based small-molecule, integrated drug discovery company that provides services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic partners globally. Services cover a wide span of the drug discovery process, from disease target validation to pre-clinical candidate nomination. Domainex's services include recombinant protein expression and use of its proprietary technology platform, Combinatorial Domain Hunting to identify soluble protein fragments for structural, biophysical and bioassay uses. Hit finding activities encompass assay development and screening utilising its BioassayBuilder and LeadBuilder portfolios. The core of the service platform is undertaking multi-parameter medicinal chemistry optimisation of hits and leads under the mantra ‘every compound counts', which can save up to 30% of average industry time.   Domainex will be moving to a new facility at Chesterford Research Park near Cambridge in summer 2016. The new facility will provide a near three-fold increased footprint and allow it to continue its growth strategy focused on providing best-in-class drug discovery services utilising its proprietary technology platforms and in-depth expertise of its skilled employees.   For more information please visit www.domainex.co.uk   About the Wellcome Trust   The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. Our investment portfolio gives us the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, our free venue for the incurably curious that explores medicine, life and art. www.wellcome.ac.uk   Media Enquiries   For Domainex, please contact: Trevor Perrior Research Director Domainex Trevor.Perrior@domainex.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1223 743170   Deborah Cockerill Sciad Communications deborah@sciad.com Tel: +44 (0)79 3031 7729   For Queen's University Belfast, please contact: Communications Office comms.office@qub.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 9079 3091
    Apr 26, 2016 1093