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Specipig, a biotechnology breeding and biomedical research center that uses miniature pigs as an animal model, has closed a €545,000 round of funding. The funds will go to creating a new breed of miniature pigs (called Specipig), expanding the team, adding new facilities (animal housing) and boosting their preclinical Contract Research Organization (CRO) services.

The capital increase was possible thanks to the contribution of the Sánchez Lafuente family (former owners of Laboratorios Gelos, which manufactures Gelocatil), who invested €230,000 through Margema 99. The second lead partner in this round was Carlos Aparicio, a business angel with ample experience in the medical sector (above all dentistry), who joined the shareholders with €200,000. The other contributions came from Specipig Inversions, Bioemprèn and Semen Cardona (the company’s previous partners).

CEO of the company Jaume Amat values positively the fact that the new partners have experience in the pharmaceutical and industrial sectors. “We don’t just want them to contribute financial muscle; their know-how is very important to us,” he says.

Specipig, which was created in 2013 and has its headquarters in El Prat de Llobregat, currently supplies conventional pigs to large medical centers in Barcelona for research: Hospital Sant Pau, Hospital Clínic, Vall d’Hebron, Bellvitge and Parc Taulí.

Along with the Institute for Agri-Food Research and Technology (IRTA) and Semen Cardona, the company is creating a new genetic breed of miniature pigs by cross-breeding miniature pigs with conventional pigs and expects to finish development this year and start selling them.

Since it was created, Specipig has raised €1.4 millions in public and private funds. The public funds include a participative loan of €200,000 from the Catalan Finance Institute through a program of the Government of Catalonia in 2014 to foster the development of science-based start-ups.


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