Gresham House Ventures is pleased to announce it has participated in a £10 million investment round for Panthera Biopartners (Panthera), alongside BGF.


The investment, our aspect of which was funded by the Baronsmead VCTs, 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, who also founded Synexus, the largest SMO in the world, and Professor John Lyon, 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”

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.”