Global Pharmaceutical Company Acquires North Wales Med-Tech Business

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Global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company has acquired Wrexham-based med-tech business Aparito.

The business was up by Dr Elin Haf Davies and part-funded by the Development Bank of Wales, who now exit with an initial return of 2.9x on their £1.2 million equity investment with the potential for this to rise to 3.2x depending upon company performance in due course .

Established in 2014 as part of the Bethnal Green Ventures Accelerator, Aparito is a software business focussed on accelerating drug development by digitising decentralised clinical trials. Initially developed for rare diseases, Aparito’s Atom5™ eCOA platform allows clinical studies to be carried out anytime, anywhere, enabling patients and their caregivers to participate in clinic trials at home. Data is captured by patients using video assessments, wearable devices and electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePROs).

In 2017,  Aparito joined Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ G4A health tech accelerator. The Development Bank of Wales then made the first of three equity investments totalling £1.2 million alongside co-investors Bethnal Green Ventures, Wealth Club and Ascension VC.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Eli Lilly and Company has offices in 18 countries and sells medical products throughout the world. Aparito is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company. Dr Davies remains with the business as Chief Executive along with all 26 staff in Wrexham and five in Barcelona. The company will continue its operations in Wrexham.

Mike Bakewell, Deputy Portfolio Manager for the Technology Ventures Investments Team at the Development Bank, said:

“Elin is a true pioneer and a fantastic ambassador for women entrepreneurs in Wales. She has built up a successful international business with strong values that is making a real difference to the global medical sector and the local economy in North Wales. Aparito has demonstrated real potential from day one.  We’re proud to have played a part in the successful growth of the business with our early-stage equity funding that helped to finance research and development costs. Our return will now be recycled into new customers that also have commercial promise, creating long-term, value for money for Wales.”

Dr Elin Haf Davies began her career as a children’s nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2001, completing her PhD at the University College London before moving to be a Scientific Administrator at the Paediatric Team with the European Medicine Evaluation Agency prior to founding Aparito. She is a keen sportswoman who has also made a name for herself in rugby, winning 13 Caps for the Wales A side and rowing across both the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.

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