CPI invests in pioneering protein manufacturer

27 Sept 2023

A spin-out of Newcastle University is the latest company to receive investment from CPI Enterprises, the private investor engagement and ventures arm of CPI.

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MarraBio is developing ground-breaking technology to produce alternatives to bioactive proteins, some of the most expensive man-made materials used in industry. 

Using technology originally developed at Newcastle University which has been licenced exclusively to the company, MarraBio is able to manufacture proteins which mimic the function of conventional proteins at much lower cost and with improved performance. 

Products developed by MarraBio will target the multi-billion dollar markets for biomedical research and therapy, as well as the production of cultivated meat, which is predicted to be valued at over $20 billion by 2030.

The syndicate was led by CPI Enterprises and it included Maven Capital Partners, Northstar Ventures and TCS Biosciences, combining both financial and industry expertise. TCS Biosciences is one of Europe’s foremost suppliers of biological raw materials and laboratory reagents to the life sciences sector. The investment was part of a larger funding round, which will support job creation, attract investment and stimulate of economic growth in the region. 

Frank Millar, CEO of CPI said:

We’re delighted to back our first local university spin out in the region. As a partner to many leading innovators and a founding member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, CPI is in a unique position to leverage world-class expertise and bring confidence to institutional investors for early-stage businesses. The growth of MarraBio and the subsequent opportunity for funding demonstrates the positive impact CPI can create with small companies who work with us. MarraBio is a pioneering business, and its technology platform is already producing a reagent with proven biological effectiveness for use in cell culture. Aidan and the management team have built an impressive business and we are delighted to support and contribute to the business as it enters an exciting new phase of growth.”

Aidan Courtney, MarraBio’s Executive Chairman said:

This is an outstanding investment syndicate which came together once CPI Enterprises took the lead. Our technology has the potential to accelerate the development of new medicines and to make the production of animal-free meat commercially viable. But this potential will only be achieved with significant financial, commercial and technical support. We were very fortunate that CPI had the technical and commercial expertise to assess the investment opportunity and support the company. I am very pleased to have such strength in depth in our investors and that much of our funding is coming from North East investors. This augments the support we have received from Newcastle University to create the company.”

CPI Enterprises led this funding round which was joined by Northstar Ventures and Maven Capital Partners as co-investors. 

MarraBio will now work with CPI Enterprises through a collaborative research and development project, which will focus on a novel low emissions food production system, funded by Innovate UK

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