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Ulster Backs Leading Biotech StartUp SiSaf

23 October 2013

The University of Ulster has increased its investment in SiSaf Ltd.,  one of Northern Ireland’s most innovative start-up bio-tech companies.  The news comes as the growing company secured new funding in the region  of £500,000 to carry out clinical trials of its new drug delivery  system.

SiSaf, which is located in the Northern Ireland Science  Park and the Irish Innovation Center, San Jose, Silicon Valley,  California, is using the investment to complete the clinical trials of  its innovative drug carrier system, SiSafe®. The first application being  trialled involves an application to cure acne more efficiently, and  without any adverse side effects. The innovative drug delivery  formulation could radically change the efficacy and safety of current  acne skin treatments.

The funding has been provided by a  consortium of investors, which includes Co-Fund NI, a Fund created by  Invest Northern Ireland and part financed by the European Regional  Development Fund, Innovation Ulster Ltd, two angel investors and led by  ITLG’s fund, Silicon Valley Global Ventures (SVG Ventures).

Dr  Suzanne Saffie-Siebert, Chief Executive of SiSaf commented: “The company  is at a really exciting stage in its development. This funding allows  us to begin critical clinical trials of SiSaf’s innovative drug delivery  super app. Once these trials have successfully concluded, SiSaf will  be able to use the outcome across a number of platforms including animal  vaccination and anaesthesia applications as well as the efficient  treatment of acne.”

SiSaf’s Chairman, Mr. John Hartnett, who is Founder of ITLG and SVG, one of Silicon Valley’s leading tech investors said:

“We  have seen considerable progress by SiSaf since it won the ITLG  Innovation Awards in 2010 and we are delighted now to announce our 3rd  follow on investment in this exciting biotech company.”

He  added: “I believe the potential for SiSaf to attract further large scale  private equity capital investment is significant given its cutting edge  bio-technology and the wide variety of applications.”

Tim  Brundle, CEO of Innovation Ulster Limited (IUL) said: “Innovation Ulster  Ltd is very excited by the rapid progress made by SiSaf  and I look  forward to continuing the collaboration with the University of Ulster  through the company’s next stage of development.

"Working in  conjunction with the University of Ulster's Professor Jim McLaughlin,  who is also the company’s CSO, there are benefits for both the company  and the University's Nanotechnology and Integrated Bio-Engineering  Centre. Silicon nano particles produce many challenges, but the strong  potential drug delivery benefits are well highlighted by the company. ”

Neil  Simms from Clarendon Fund Managers who manage Co-Fund NI investments  said: “Our investment in SiSaf Ltd takes our total investment from the  Co-Fund NI to over £3.5m and we are delighted to have made this recent  investment in a company which is led by such an experienced, driven CEO.  We are excited by the significant potential of this company and its  drug delivery super apps.”


Notes to Editors:

About SiSaf

SiSaf Ltd is a bio-tech company located in the Northern Ireland Science Park and San Jose, Silicon Valley.

Clinical trials of its new drug delivery system super apps will begin this month with comprehensive results expected Qtr 1 2014.

About ITLG & SVG

John Hartnett is Chairman of SiSaf LTD as well as Founder of ITLG and SVG, one of Silicon Valley’s leading tech investors.

Established  in October 2007 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, the ITLG is a  non-profit organisation comprised of high-level global technology  leaders who are Irish or Irish-American. The Group includes senior  executives from some of the worlds leading corporations, each of whom  are committed to promoting the technology connection between Ireland and  Silicon Valley, and helping Ireland address the challenges of embracing  new technology opportunities. For more information, please visit

The Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) is  hosting a major Forum on January 28th, 2014 in Limerick –

The  event will be a phenomenal networking opportunity where delegates are  guaranteed to establish valuable industry connections and links to  Silicon Valley and discover future trends in technology and hear from  Silicon Valley leaders on the latest developments in Hi Tech, Bio Tech,  mobile, digital and cloud computing.

About Co-Fund NI

Co-Fund  NI is provided by Invest NI and part financed by the European Regional  Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness  Programme for NI.

The aim of the Fund is to ensure that  businesses with growth potential are not held back because they cannot  access equity finance.

The Fund is managed by Clarendon Fund Managers Ltd.

Information on the fund can be found at