MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, June 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Epistem, the Manchester UK-based Contract Research Company, announces that following investment by Foresight Group it has completed a management buy-out (“MBO”) from genedrive plc.

Epistem provides both pre-clinical and clinical research services across several specialist therapeutic areas, including oncology, gastro-intestinal (GI) diseases and toxicity and inflammatory diseases. Clients include several global pharmaceutical businesses, US Biodefence programmes and niche biotechnology companies.

Foresight’s investment, which includes an injection of growth capital, will support the management team’s clear plans for growth, enabling expansion of the service offering, including further investment in Next Generation Sequencing and Laser Capture technologies to complement current services identifying and validating targets and biomarkers. The team also plan investments in GI disease models, developing both organoid and microbiota services, along with expansion into chronic disease models such as fibrosis. The business will also strengthen its sales and marketing activities across its international customer base.

The buy-out is led by Dr Catherine Booth, one of the original founders of Epistem and expert in GI biology. Dr Booth will be supported by a strong executive team including Operations Director Julie Tudor, also one of the original founder members of Epistem, and a new sales director and finance director. Foresight has introduced an experienced industry Non-Executive Chairman, Dr Nick Ash. Dr Ash will be a strong addition to the team having previously been CEO of Source BioScience plc, an international contract research, diagnostic services and analytical chemistry business.

Dr Catherine Booth, CEO, Epistem, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Foresight. Epistem has huge potential for growth and development. We have a clear list of initiatives for enhancing and expanding the business and are looking forward to delivering a more comprehensive suite of services to address our customers’ scientific needs. Foresight, complemented by Nick Ash, will provide us with significant financial and strategic support.”

Dr Nick Ash, Non-Executive Chairman, Epistem, added: “I am looking forward to working with Cath and the Management team at Epistem to accelerate the growth of the business, and build a Company that excels in customer service and provides an outstanding environment in which to work.”

Matthew Pomroy, Investment Manager, Foresight, commented: “Epistem is a prime example of the type of company Foresight likes to support, a differentiated and customer-focused business with market leading expertise. Cath’s dedication and long term involvement, combined with the new expertise from incoming Chairman Dr Nick Ash, gives us confidence that we will see the business go from strength-to-strength. We look forward to working with the team in the coming years.”

Notes for editors

About Epistem Ltd (“Epistem”):

Epistem is an established research service provider with headquarters in Manchester UK and facilities in the US. Originally founded on ground-breaking research in epithelial stem cell biology, it has evolved into a dynamic and successful business that provides innovative research services. For 18 years Epistem has been providing a personalised service to customers worldwide, from virtual start-ups to established biotechnology companies, global pharmaceutical and personal care companies.

Epistem is committed to providing reliable, innovative and transferable pre-clinical and clinical models and services to support decision making throughout the drug discovery and development pipeline.

www.epistem.co.uk

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles-Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity Team, comprising 22 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network, typically investing between £500k and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs.

The Foresight Regional Investment Fund targets companies in the North West of England, North Wales and South Yorkshire. It is managed from Foresight’s Manchester office.

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome and Seoul.

www.foresightgroup.eu

For more information please contact: Catherine Booth: c.booth@epistem.co.uk | 0161 850 7910 Ben Thompson: bthompson@foresightgroup.eu | 020 3667 8155