Panthera Biosciences (Panthera) has secured £10 million of investment from BGF and Gresham House Ventures, the latter investing on behalf of the Baronsmead VCTs. This investment will allow Panthera to further grow its network of dedicated clinical trial sites across the UK and Western Europe. Since launching in late 2019, with an initial investment from Gresham House Ventures and Catapult in 2020, Panthera has grown to become a major player in the UK with nine sites and a rapidly growing order book.
Panthera, which recruits patients and runs clinical trials on behalf of Contract Research Organisations (‘CRO’) and pharma, has further developed the SMO – Site Management Organisation – model through technology and trials in specialist areas such as oncology, NASH, neurology and vaccines as well as those treated in general practice. Oncology trials are undertaken in partnership with the Rutherford Cancer Centres across the UK.
Preston based Panthera was founded by Dr Ian Smith (Medical Director), who also founded Synexus the largest SMO in the world and Professor John Lyon (Chairman and Chief Financial Officer), a serial entrepreneur and previously a global Vice President of Covance. Together they have recruited a top management team with global experience, which has established relationships with leading CROs and pharma companies.
This investment round will be used to fund further expansion in the UK and Western Europe, as well as continuing to invest in enhancing the service offering.
Panthera Chairman John Lyon commented, ”We are very pleased to have the backing of such reputable and respected investment houses as BGF and Gresham House Ventures, which will supercharge our expansion. In the last two and a half years our management team has built an exemplar SMO model which has been welcomed by our clients in the major pharmaceutical companies and CROs. In the next twelve months we aim to become the preferred provider for our clients across Europe”
Matt Widdall and Rhys Davenport led the deal for BGF – the UK and Ireland’s most active growth capital investor. BGF investor Matt Widdall added:
“We were attracted to Panthera’s high quality, experienced team who have rapidly developed an exciting proposition, with the potential to become the leading SMO in Western Europe. Today’s investment will unlock significant growth potential and we look forward to working with the business to realise its ambitions. BGF has become one of the most prolific investors in healthcare as the sector has flourished. Our experience means we are ideally placed to support Panthera on the further development of its technology platform and international roll-out strategy.”
Maya Ward, Investment Director at Gresham House Ventures said:
“We have been extremely impressed by the management team at Panthera and the company’s financial performance to date. This investment sits within our healthcare thesis where we see continued need for outsourced pharma services in the drug development space. There is a sizeable market opportunity given patient recruitment is a major pain point and expense for sponsors in bringing new drugs to market, which a specialist site management organisation like Panthera can help address. We are delighted to continue our support for them on this exciting journey.”
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