Funding will help the CRO capitalise on the pharma industry’s growing interest in its specialist services.

Gresham House Ventures has invested alongside Maven Capital Partners in a £3.7 million funding round for Cambridge-based Metrion Biosciences (“Metrion”), a leading contract research organisation (“CRO”) providing a range of specialist services to drug developers, alongside existing investors Gresham House Ventures.

Metrion provides a highly specialised service that is required by pharma and biotech companies developing new therapeutics that act on an important group of protein structures called ion-channels which are widespread within the body. The company helps its clients explore how their drug candidates modulate a target ion-channel in order to treat conditions as varied as pain, epilepsy, anxiety, cystic fibrosis, and auto-immune disorders. The company also conducts safety testing, looking for the unintended interaction of drugs with ion channels that could cause side effects in a patient.

The Maven VCTs have invested £2.5 million alongside commitments from existing investors, including £1 million from Gresham House Ventures and further commitments from o2h Ventures and management. Increasing demand from pharma and biotech companies for high quality ion channel R&D services has helped Metrion achieve impressive year-on-year revenue growth over the last few years.

The current funding round is intended to provide capital for further expansion of Metrion’s UK laboratories, additional automated electrophysiology equipment, investment in new assay services, plus enhanced international marketing and business development.

Maya Ward, investment director at Gresham House Ventures, said:

“As the timelines, cost and complexity of taking a drug to market continue to rise, we see increasing demand for expert, specialist providers such as Metrion to assist the biopharma industry in navigating these challenges.  The management team’s deep insight into ion channels and specialist electrophysiology equipment ensures Metrion is well placed to take advantage of the sizeable market opportunity. We look forward to supporting the business in its next phase of growth.”

Andy Southan, CEO at Metrion Biosciences, added:

“We welcome Maven as a new investor in Metrion and thank Gresham House for their continued support. Maven has a successful track record of supporting the growth of revenue generating health technology businesses and I look forward to David’s contribution as a Metrion board director as we scale our company into a leading specialist pharmaceutical CRO.”


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