U.K.'s ReNeuron basks in limelight surrounding Sir Chris Evans

Few people in the U.K.'s biotech industry have as much influence as Chris Evans. That influence was on full display this week after the high-flying investor took a personal, million-dollar stake in the regenerative medicine company ReNeuron, which is being refinanced and moved to Wales as part of a Welsh government effort to build a biotech hub in the region.

Evans' Arthurian Life Sciences Group steered a £5 million ($7.8 million) equity investment from the Welsh Government's Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund to ReNeuron, part of a total fundraising of £33.2 million ($52 million), which includes $12 million in Welsh government grants. And his participation puts ReNeuron squarely in the center stage of the U.K.'s biotech scene.

"I have been intimately involved with the creation and development of this company for the last 13 years," Evans says, according to a report from Wales Online. "I have always been convinced of the compelling scientific case behind it and this continues to be confirmed by the results of the clinical trials to date." With this financing, he continued, "I am totally confident that we can ultimately drive this company to secure highly profitable partnerships or a substantive trade sale within the next three to four years."

Regenerative medicine has gone through some big ups and downs--as well as considerable cash--in recent years. It's been slow going for ReNeuron, which reported that it had completed dosing in a Phase I study of its stroke treatment ReN001 last spring. ReNeuron is moving from a facility in Surrey.

- here's the story from Wales Online

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