Skip to main content

15x+ return for SPARK Impact-managed North West Fund for Biomedical

Cerus Endovascular (“Cerus”), a medical technology company that makes products to treat haemorrhagic strokes, has announced its acquisition by Stryker Corporation, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies.

Cerus’ products, Contour and Neqstent, have been successful in treating brain aneurysms. Aneurysms are weaknesses in the blood vessel wall, which can bleed or burst, leading to a possible stroke and in turn, death.

The company’s products have been sold in Germany, Austria, the UK and the US, where Contour is undergoing trials to allow for a full launch.

Cerus relocated to the Liverpool City Region in 2013 at which point SPARK Impact Ltd (who have operationally merged with River Capital) made the first of two early-stage investments via the North West Fund for Biomedical followed by a second round of funding in 2014.

In 2015, Cerus expanded into California where they now operate from a 12,000 sq.ft facility as well as offices in Oxford.

The recent completion of the Stryker Corporation acquisition sees a substantial initial payment to the North West Fund for Biomedical with further payments expected across two years, subject to milestones.

River Capital and SPARK Impact Portfolio Director Jerry Mobbs commented on the acquisition:

“We are delighted that Stryker’s acquisition of Cerus has now been completed, securing a significant first payment for the North West Fund for Biomedical.

With further milestone payments expected, the fund is in line to receive a return on its initial investment in excess of 15x, which is a fantastic result for all involved.

We now look forward to Stryker moving the business further forward and will watch its progress with great interest.”

River Capital and SPARK Impact Head of Venture Marc d’Abbadie said:

“The River team extends its congratulations to everyone at Cerus and Stryker.

Cerus’ products save lives. The company has also created high-value Knowledge Economy jobs and handsomely rewarded its early backers.

The Cerus exit is a welcome reminder of the impact that early-stage regional seed investing can have.

It is pleasing to see a new generation of regional seed funds, backed by the British Business Bank and others, currently being established, allowing UK innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish and follow in the footsteps of businesses like Cerus”