University spin-out raises £7.5m for research into cardiovascular disease

Wednesday, 21 February 2024

A University of Nottingham spin-out that is developing a new treatment for patients with cardiovascular disease, has raised £7.5m in funding.

IsomAb Ltd, founded in 2022, is a UK-based biopharmaceutical company and a spin-out from the University of Nottingham. The company was founded by Professor David Bates from the Centre for Cancer Sciences at the University of Nottingham and Professor Steve Harper from the University of Bristol.

The company is developing specific disease modifying antibody treatments for serious and life-threatening diseases with an initial focus on peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a common condition where a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries restricts blood supply to leg muscles.

In many cases, the body successfully compensates by developing new blood vessels in a process known as angiogenesis. However, this process of compensation does not seem to occur in diabetics, and the lack of circulation often causes ulcers and irreversible tissue damage.

Research by IsomAb’s founders, Professor Bates and Professor Harper, suggests that this is because a protein called VEGF-A165b blocks the angiogenesis process in diabetics. The IsomAb team have developed an antibody that inhibits the effects of the protein and allows new blood vessels to be created.

This latest Seed funding round will enable the company to advance the pre-clinical development of its lead antibody, ISM-001.

The funding round was led by Broadview Ventures, with further backing from existing investor, SCVC and participation from MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Ventures and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

I’m delighted that we have been able to attract further high quality investment into translating the discoveries from our laboratories to benefit patients with cardiovascular disease.”
Professor David Bates, Co-Founder and Scientific Director of IsomAb Ltd

Jackie Turnbull, CEO of IsomAb, said: “IsomAb’s lead program targeting VEGF-A165b aims to treat peripheral arterial disease in the large proportion of patients with concomitant metabolic syndrome and Type II diabetes. We are delighted to have attracted a group of high-quality investors to support the early development of our novel program toward CTA filing to enter the clinic.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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About IsomAb Ltd

IsomAb Ltd, founded in 2022, is a UK-based biopharmaceutical company and is a spin-out from the University of Nottingham; early research was conducted at the University of Bristol and funding has been received from the British Heard Foundation, Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council. The Company was founded by Prof. David Bates and Prof. Steve Harper based on ground-breaking research into VEGF-A and its splice isoforms, and focusses on the development of isoform specific antibodies for disease modifying treatment of life limiting diseases with peripheral ischaemia. ISM-001 is high affinity, humanised antibody to restore blood flow in diabetic vascular disease. For more information, visit:

About Broadview Ventures

Broadview Ventures is a mission-driven investment organization that makes targeted investments in early-stage companies to accelerate the development of innovative therapeutics, devices, and diagnostics for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Broadview is funded by the Leducq Charitable Trust. For more information, visit:

About SCVC

SCVC is a leading UK emerging manager, focused on early-stage deep tech start-ups spinning out of the UK's world-leading academic institutions. Building the VC firm they wished they had as founders, the SCVC team’s mission is to create global impact for the health of people and the planet, via partnering with exceptional technical founders leveraging deep tech. SCVC is comprised of distinguished exited innovators, scientists & engineers who have backed multiple deep tech spin-outs. SCVC is the official venture arm of Science Creates (SC); leveraging this renowned UK ecosystem that has already incubated over 100 startups. SC has built two UK deep tech research facilities (3rd under construction). Alongside lab space they support founders via strategic partnerships (UK GOV & universities) and national deep tech accelerator programs.


About Mercia Ventures

Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group’s ‘Complete Connected Capital’. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet. For more information, visit:

Charlotte Anscombe - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Phone: 0115 748 4417

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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