Back pain company is Co Angel’s first investment

A PIONEERING back pain company has received a £414,00 boost in the first hand-out by the Co Angel Investment service, funded by Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Gelexir, a University of Manchester spin-out, has developed a hydrogel to relieve back pain by allowing cells in the disc to get back to “normal” functioning, hence relieving the cause of pain.

The gel will be injected into the disc by a healthcare professional and is expected to replace the need for invasive back surgery.

This has the potential to reduce back-pain suffering for millions of people globally and save the NHS and healthcare systems around the world significant sums of money.

Gelixir is led by spine surgeon and veteran ex-medical device corporate executive, Philippe Jenny, and has received investment from sector specialist investors including The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact (£250,000), the Central Manchester Foundation Trust and a number of overseas and local angel investors.

Co, which was launched by Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein in November, supports business access equity investment from syndicates of angel investors, the Angel Co Fund and VCs from across the region and the wider UK.

GMCA has funded the service to better facilitate investment early stage deals for businesses, with the first deal now closed.

The Co service has already generated a qualified pipeline in excess of £40m in just a few months and is aiming to leverage £10m of investment each year into businesses in Greater Manchester.

Executive director Gelexir Hans von Celsing said: “The team at Co have been instrumental as part of the process to date in giving strong and impartial advice, providing us links to potential investors, and generally supporting us in the fund raising process.

“The team have been brilliant in preparing us for investment, supporting angel investors with their due diligence scoping and execution and approaching institutional investors. We are looking forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with the Co Angel team to complete this current round of funding.”

By UKBAA 22 Jun 2015