26th April 2023
An EIT Health-supported start-up, SolasCure, has closed a Series B funding round to the value of €12M. The investment round was led by Seneca Partners along with BRAIN Biotech AG, EVA Pharma, Jonathan Milner, and Wealth Club.
The Cambridge-based biotech company is developing a cutting-edge solution to treat chronic wounds and has completed its Phase 2a clinical trial in centres across Hungary, the United Kingdom, and United States.
Approximately 1.5 – 2 million people suffer from acute or chronic wounds in Europe, a number which is expected to increase in line with an ageing population.  Wound healing can become a complex process, particularly if the patient has an underlying disease. Patients with long-term wounds suffer from a lower quality of life, as well as endure psychological impacts such as loneliness, depression, and isolation.
It is estimated that treating each chronic wound in Europe costs between €6,000 and €10,000  per year, with up to £8.3 billion  spent annually by the NHS on treating wounds in the UK alone.
Founded by Dr. Sam Bakri in 2017, SolasCure is working on a novel way to treat chronic wounds with a new enzymatic debridement product. Maggots are nature’s solution to removing dead tissue, by applying biochemical tools to digest wound debris. Using biomimicry, SolasCure is developing Aurase Wound Gel, which contains an enzyme isolated and cloned from medical maggots. This hydrogel, still in the development phase, is expected to accelerate wound debridement.
“The global wound care market is expected to reach $28.23 billion USD  by 2029. The team at SolasCure has taken a truly original approach to meeting the needs of a growing market, by leveraging the largely untapped potential of biodiversity,” said Marc Butterly, Business Creation Lead, EIT Health Ireland-UK. “EIT Health supports innovators like SolasCure who are working at the leading-edge to improve the lives of patients in Europe. We at EIT Health Ireland-UK congratulate the SolasCure team, winners of Catapult 2022, on this momentous fundraising achievement.”
Catapult is a unique pitching competition and training programme that showcases life sciences and health tech start-ups to leading experts and investors across Europe. After making it to the finals of the competition in 2022 during the EIT Health Summit, SolasCure’s innovation impressed judges and was awarded first place in the Biotech category.
“At SolasCure our mission is to support healthcare professionals with wound care products that significantly improve outcomes for patients suffering from chronic wounds. This Series B funding will support us as we advance our Phase II clinical development programme,” said Dr. Sam Bakri, Founder and CEO, SolasCure. “Winning EIT Health’s Catapult competition in 2022 created greater exposure for us in Europe and helped us build our network.”
SolasCure published its first pre-clinical results in the International Wound Journal in January 2023, showing preliminary evidence that supports the potential for this maggot‐derived proteolytic enzyme as a clinically effective debriding agent. This has permitted SolasCure under regulatory review to test the enzyme on real patients with ulcers.
EIT Health’s Catapult programme 2023-24 is now open for applicants. Apply by 2nd May 2023.
Lindholm, C. Searle, R. (2016). Wound management for the 21st century: combining effectiveness and efficiency. International Wound Journal, (online) 13(Suppl 2): 5–15. Available at: 10.1111/iwj.12623
Posnett, J., Gottrup, F., Lundgren, H., Saal, G. (2009). The resource impact of wounds on health-care providers in Europe. Wound Care Journal. 18(4):154–161.1.
Guest, J. F., Fuller, G. W., Vowden, P. (2018) Cohort study evaluating the burden of wounds to the UK’s National Health Service in 2017/2018. BMJ Journals. Available at: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/12/e045253#
The global wound care market is projected to grow from USD 18.51 billion in 2022 to USD 28.23 billion by 2029. (2022). (online) Available at: https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/wound-care-market-103268
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