Izon Science Receives $10.5M Investment From Bolton Equities
Izon Science, the world leading manufacturer of nano-biological separation and characterisation tools, today announced a $10.5M equity investment to support its ambitious global growth plans from Bolton Equities, a New Zealand based private equity investor founded by New Zealand businessman and entrepreneur Murray Bolton.
Izon serves blue chip research customers in over 50 countries including all of the top 10 medical research companies, 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies and 49 of the top 50 US universities. A particular area of interest is in extra-cellular vesicles, including exosomes, with the expectation that these will become powerful biomarkers and significantly improve healthcare globally.
Hans van der Voorn, CEO of Izon Science, says: “We are very pleased to welcome Bolton Equities as a shareholder to help Izon execute on its vision to grow into a truly global business. The investment will allow us to accelerate the development of several new technologies that will further help scientists working at the nano-scale to solve important research questions.”
Chris Dineen, CEO of Bolton Equities, says: “Izon captured our interest as it’s developing technology that science really needs. We were impressed with its product suite’s capabilities, recent growth rates, and the management team’s approach to developing the technology in a very pragmatic way. We also saw that we could bring significant value to the business alongside our capital, leveraging Bolton Equities’ strengths in finance, tech and healthcare across key markets.”
Izon’s nano-biological technology and tools include its qEV SEC columns which have rapidly become the extra-cellular vesicles (EV) separation method favoured by experts, and its TRPS measurement system which is the only accurate, standardisable and practical method of measuring complex nano-bio particles, particularly EVs and nanomedicine products.
Izon’s board has been bolstered to coincide with the investment. Tony Barclay, former Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH) CFO and Company Secretary, has been appointed independent chairman and Professor Merryn Tawhai, FRSNZ, the Deputy Director of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) and Director of the Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CORE), has been appointed as an independent director. Chris Dineen has also been appointed to the board with Guy Bolton, Bolton Equities’ Director and President North America, an experienced pharmaceutical and health tech executive based in the US.
Van der Voorn says, “We’re delighted to have attracted Tony as our new chairman as his extensive background is highly relevant to Izon. Merryn, Chris and Guy also add significant expertise that will be invaluable as we work to make a global impact.”
Barclay says, “Hans and the Izon team have really impressed me - they are taking on the world and winning from New Zealand in a fast growing global niche for nanotech identification and separation technology. I recognise similar characteristics in the company to Fisher & Paykel Healthcare; the company is developing impressive technology that is helping move science forward globally to improve lives. The opportunity is open-ended as the company has the potential to become integral to global diagnosis and therapeutics markets.”
Barclay adds that there are bigger players in the wider market addressing these areas in different ways, but Izon’s technology is gaining a reputation as the leader in the field. “A nice element to the business is the multiple streams of revenue it has created due to its expanding range of nanotech instruments and consumables.”
Dineen adds, “Izon is well-positioned to continue its growth despite COVID-19. The company has demonstrated its ability to respond to disruption and is seeing ongoing demand for their technology from its research customers.”
Much of the demand for Izon’s technology in recent years has been driven by the burgeoning interest in extra-cellular vesicles, including exosomes, and their role in a range of health conditions and major diseases such as dementia and cancer.
Van der Voorn says, “We’re enabling fundamental new science as Izon’s tools and technology allow researchers to simultaneously measure particle size and concentration, with sub-nm precision. We’re opening up new nano-biological research areas that haven’t been previously possible at the same scale and accuracy.
“We’re really excited to see our technology being used for research into exosomes, extracellular vesicles and RNA, as researchers work to identify biomarkers which hold the key to early disease intervention. Biomarkers are a measurable indicator of a biological state and play an important role in risk prediction, screening and diagnosis. Identifying biomarkers associated with a type of cancer, would allow medical researchers to see if a cancer treatment was effective or not, by giving faster feedback on pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.”
Izon has also seen increasing interest in the application of its technology in virology as researchers around the world seek to better understand COVID-19 and other viruses by using information on virus characterisation and concentrations derived from using Izon’s nano-tech tools. Heightened interest in virology and diagnostics and therapeutic drug development will benefit the company longer-term says van der Voorn.
Future plans may also include an NZX listing adds van der Voorn. “We had started preparing for a possible listing prior to this investment, and that is still an option, but it would now be a few years down the track.”