Btomorrow Ventures is pleased to announce the newest addition to our portfolio – US-based Hesperos.
The company produces some of the world’s most advanced systems that accurately reproduce disease states and the human response to therapeutics. Offering contract research and compound testing services using its Human-on-a-Chip® platform, Hesperos is accelerating drug discovery while reducing the need for animal studies and enabling treatment development for many human diseases, including rare diseases previously considered untreatable.
Hesperos was founded in 2015 by Drs. James Hickman and Michael Shuler, two pioneers in the field of reproducing human biology with organ-on-a-chip (OOC) technology.
OOC devices are small microfluidic chips containing living cells and tissues arranged in a way that accurately simulates the function of human organs, such as the brain, heart, gut, liver, lungs, and more. Hesperos’ unique in its ability to integrate multiple organ constructs in a single, interconnected platform. This reproduces organ-organ communication seen in patients and enables the evaluation of a drug’s efficacy and off-target toxic effects simultaneously.
As part of Btomorrow Ventures’ investment, Hesperos and our corporate, BAT, will collaborate on an exciting programme of work to help support BAT’s goal towards achieving A Better Tomorrow™.
Dr James Murphy, Director, Research and Science, at BAT says: “This investment will allow BAT to explore organ-on-a-chip technology. This is an innovative alternative to product testing for translational research to bring safe and effective products on to the market.”
Regarding the collaboration with BAT and investment from BTV, Hesperos Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, James Hickman, says: “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with a global innovator and a chance to contribute significantly to BAT’s A Better Tomorrow™ strategy to develop breakthrough technologies.”
Speaking today, BTV’s Investment Associate, Sam Morris, says: “We are excited to welcome Hesperos as an exceptional and innovative addition to BTV’s portfolio, given the team from Hesperos has proven to be a pioneer in the organ-on-a-chip field, and the Company has demonstrated it is market fit by securing contracts with key organisations in the drug discovery space. Moreover, the collaboration between Hesperos and BAT offers great value-add to both parties, and BTV is excited to help facilitate this relationship and to become a key part of Hesperos’ future.”
A huge thanks to everyone involved in making this deal happen and the fantastic teamwork behind the scenes. In the BTV team, our Investment Associate, Sam Morris; Senior Legal Counsel, Peter Wozny; CFO in Residence, Fiona Kinghorn; Investment Analyst, Kory Sun; Investment Intern, Luca Marras; and Trainee Solicitor, Lottie Beange. Special thanks also to BAT’s Group Head of Science Discovery, Allen Griffiths; and Head of Novel Scientific Capabilities & Foresights, Tommaso Iannitti, who has led the scientific efforts behind the deal.