Cardiff Capital Region takes an equity stake in Pharmatelligence

The Cardiff Capital Region has made a £2m equity investment in Cardiff based healthcare data specialist Pharmatelligence.

WalesOnline reports the investment gives the city region, made up of the ten local authorities of South East Wales, an undisclosed minority ownership stake in the company. The investment had been made from the region’s £1.2bn City Deal.

Last year the region provided, also from the City Deal, loans with a combined value of £5.5m to Creo Medical and Zip World.

Pharmatelligence analyses data for healthcare organisations and major pharmaceutical companies.

Built around NHS data, its new Livingstone software is intended to be the first of its kind worldwide, automating the analysis of large volumes of data to generate scientific quality reports in real time for NHS and pharmaceutical industry users.

This is of particular significance in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic and future global health issues.

Peter Fox, vice-chair of the region’s cabinet (made up of the region’s ten local authority leaders) and leader of Monmouthshire County Council, said “Pharmatelligence is widely regarded as a thought leader in their scientific discipline and I am delighted we have been able to invest in this innovative business and support their ambitions to commercialise this game-changing software.

“This project is fully aligned with our investment objectives and outcomes, most notably in the proposed employment and ongoing training of a significant number of graduates and postgraduates in highly skilled, highly paid future-proofed jobs.

“The benefits to the wider economy are also significant, with the likelihood that Pharmatelligence will attract footfall in South Wales from global pharmaceutical companies, with all the ensuing additional trickle-down benefits into the local economy that this will bring.

“We have every confidence in Pharmatelligence’s ability to deliver and that this investment will help play a significant part in realising our CCR strategic ambition to become a regional centre of excellence in medical diagnostics.”

Professor Craig Currie, founder and chief scientific officer of Pharmatelligence, said “We are delighted to have agreed this investment which illustrates the potential value of Livingstone.

“Our ambition is to employ many of the best graduates from local universities to evolve a novel software platform that is second to none. Livingstone will allow us to conduct complex scientific studies in a few hours compared with the months it often takes us presently.

“Our future plans will always keep Livingstone in the vanguard of real-world healthcare data analysis.”

Last month the region provided debt finance, while not disclosing the interest rate, of £3.5m to Zip World to supports its under construction new adrenaline zip wire attraction in the Cynon Valley at the former Tower Colliery site.

The funding is repayable over five years. The city region was asked if the funding could have been secured by Zip World from private sector lenders.

At the time it said “The investment is fully aligned with our strategy of supporting inclusive economic growth, ensuring that the whole region benefits from the City Deal investment fund.

“It is also in line with our post-Covid-19 priorities for supporting and showing confidence in businesses with growth plans that can create sustainable employment within the region.

“By supporting Zip World throughout these difficult times, the adventure tourism facilities will now be ready post pandemic and it will be able to play a significant part in attracting visitors to the region.”

Last year it also provided £2m in debt to Chepstow based medical devices company Creo. Also repayable over five years, it will support its emerging cool plasma technology.

It is is understood that the loan’s interest rate has a commercial rate of around 3.5%.

The region is also exploring deploying its £1.2bn City Deal to create an investment fund to back high growth potential companies across the region.

While at an early stage, it could be, with match funding from the private sector, up to a £100m fund where debt into companies could also be converted into equity.

Any fund is expected to managed by an external fund manager following a competitive process.

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