Belfast Telegraph

Cash injection hits the spot: Northern Ireland bio-tech firm could help cure acne after landing £500k boost

By Lesley Houston

A Northern Ireland bio-tech firm has won financial backing to test a new drug delivery system, with its first trials focusing on a possible cure for acne.

Sisaf Ltd has secured £500k to carry out clinical trials of its innovative drug carrier system Sisafe.

The innovative start-up bio-tech firm, which has premises in Belfast and in Silicon Valley in California, is testing the system out by attempting to tackle the distressing skin condition without adverse effects.

It is hoped the innovative drug delivery formulation could radically change the efficacy and safety of current acne skin treatments.

The funding has been provided by a consortium of investors, including Co-Fund NI, a fund created by Invest Northern Ireland and part financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Other funders include Innovation Ulster Ltd and two angel investors and will be led by the Irish Technology Leadership Group's (ITLG) fund, Silicon Valley Global Ventures (SVG). Dr Suzanne Saffie-Siebert, chief executive officer of Sisaf, said the company was at a "really exciting stage in its development".

"This funding allows us to begin critical clinical trials of Sisaf's innovative drug delivery super app," she said.

"Once these trials have successfully concluded, Sisaf will be able to use the outcome across a number of platforms, including animal vaccination and anaesthesia applications as well as the efficient treatment of acne."

Its chairman, John Hartnett, added that he believed the potential existed "for Sisaf to attract further large-scale private equity capital investment", given its "cutting edge bio-technology and the wide variety of applications".

Neil Simms from Clarendon Fund Managers, who manage Co-Fund NI investments, said: "Our investment in Sisaf Ltd takes our total investment from the Co-Fund NI to over £3.5m and we are delighted to have made this recent investment in a company which is led by such an experienced and driven CEO.

"We are excited by the significant potential of this company and its drug delivery super apps."

Clinical trials of the new drug delivery system super apps are set to commence later this month, with comprehensive results expected to be unveiled early next year.

£3.5m

The total investment made in Sisaf Ltd by Co-Fund NI to date

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