Curar plans expansion with £265,000 investment

An animal healthcare company which develops therapeutic devices to help pets and horses recover from injuries has secured investment of £265,000 to help fuel its growth.

Curar Animal Therapeutics has introduced the use of clinically proven medical ultrasound products into the animal market, specialising in the equine and pet sector to help speed recovery from bone and soft tissue injuries.

Its flagship product Sonivet, a device that delivers low intensity ultrasound signal, has been proven to accelerate the healing of orthopaedic injuries, allowing animals to return to mobility more quickly while also reducing re-injury rates.

The Newcastle based company has now secured £265,000 from the Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures, London based Addidi Angels and private investors to help grow the business and realise the potential of Sonivet, which will be launched to the equine market at the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) congress in September.

The investment was overseen by Newcastle based law firm Sintons and RMT Accountants and Business Advisors in Newcastle.

The Sonivet device will initially be targeted at the small animal and equine market in the UK, with wider international growth planned for the years ahead.

It is the first product to be brought to market by Curar, which was launched as a business in 2010 after being developed at Newcastle Science City, and is now based at the Toffee Factory in Ouseburn. The product has been developed in collaboration with veterinary surgeons to ensure it can cope with the most physically challenging environments, including outdoor use for horses.

The devicen which was designed by Peter Masters and Dan Martin from Ouseburn based Octo Design is non-invasive and pain free and has been proven to help with rehabilitation through being applied to the injury for 20 minutes each day for a time period of between ten and 28 days. Sonivet, which can be used by both vets and animal owners, then provides feedback to the user to ensure it is applied effectively.

Dr Helen Floyd, founder and managing director of Curar, said: “Sonivet is unique in that it takes a process used extensively in humans and applies it to animals to help their recovery from injury. It is the first time this has been widely used in this way, and we have received hugely positive feedback from the vets who have worked closely with us in the development of this product.

“Initially, we will be looking at national distribution, but will then take it forward to a wider scale. We are very confident in the future for Sonivet, and are grateful for the financial support from our investors.”

Dr Alex Buchan, investment manager at Northstar, said: “We are delighted to continue funding Curar Northstar invested in Curar back in 2011 through its Proof of Concept Fund.

“Helen has developed an excellent product that is going to really help the rehabilitation of animals and their injuries that might have been untreatable without the help of Sonivet. We are particularly keen on the idea of taking well established technologies in the human sphere and adapting them for the more challenging conditions of animal care.”

Janardan Sofat, of Addidi Angels, said: “Addidi Angels, a London based female led Angel Group, is pleased that its early commitment to Curar allowed the business to leverage other sources of investment.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Curar and its management to push the business forward.”

Anthony Evans, Partner in the Company and Commercial department at Sintons, said: “Helen and her team have taken an established process and used it to create something unique and which has the potential to be used in the treatment of animals all over the world.

“We are very pleased to have been able to help secure this investment for Curar, which will help propel their work and the success of Sonivet to the next level.”

Stephen Slater, director at RMT, who has worked with Curar since its inception at Newcastle Science City, added: “Helen has built strong foundations for the Curar business, and her commitment to taking it forward has been highly impressive.

“Everything is now well set to achieve the success that Helen’s work merits, and we look forward to continuing to work with her as the business develops.”

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