Atlas Genetics Gets Funded

Atlas Genetics, a Bath-based developer of point-of-care molecular diagnostics for such indications as MRSA and meningitis, has raised Gbp2.1 million in VC funding. Backers include South West Ventures Fund and Finance South Wales Growth Fund.



South West Ventures Fund and Finance South West Growth Fund have led a Gbp2.1m further funding round in the Bath-based company, Atlas Genetics, which is developing a 'point of care' molecular diagnostic platform that gives clinicians results in less than 30 minutes from taking the patient sample. The company is currently working on tests for meningitis, Chlamydia, Group B Streptococcus and the hospital “super-bug” MRSA.
The company, formed in 2005 as a spin-out from Bath University, has raised the additional funds to conduct a clinical evaluation for the detection of Group B Streptococcus in pregnant women, an infection which can lead to life-threatening sepsis and meningitis in neo-natal children.
This latest round sees further funding being provided by existing investors, South West Ventures Fund, GEIF and private investors through the SWAIN business angel's network. New investors in the round are the Finance South West Growth Fund and Braveheart Ventures.
Atlas Genetics is developing the point of care VeloxTM system, a portable device which delivers the benefits of molecular testing together with laboratory quality results, within 30 minutes. This allows doctors to test and treat a patient within a single visit or to have a specific diagnosis in an emergency situation. This equates to better outcomes for patients. In addition it allows clinicians to prescribe the most effective drug rather than use broad-based antibiotics which can encourage “super-bugs”.
In the VeloxTM system a patient sample, such as blood or urine, is loaded directly into a disposable card which is then inserted into a reader instrument. An electronic tag developed by the company automatically indicates the presence of DNA from the pathogen responsible for the infection. This technology offers significant advantages over conventional methods and makes it feasible to produce a simple to use and portable device with the sensitivity and specificity of central laboratory equipment.
Development of the disposable card is being undertaken with the world-leading micro-fluidic company Micronics Inc, based in Seattle.
Dr John Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Genetics, said: “The initial funding secured from our investors has enabled us to produce the prototype disposable card, and this second round will take us through development to the point where the Group B Strep system can be evaluated with clinical samples.”
Nick Simmonds, Investment Manager at YFM Group, manager of the South West Ventures Fund, said: “This second round of funding will allow Atlas Genetics to develop a platform for many exciting applications. The market for point of care molecular diagnostics is expanding rapidly and is allowing earlier treatment of potentially serious infections. We are delighted to back Atlas Genetics and look forward to working closely with the company as it develops.”
South West Ventures Fund
South West Ventures Fund is a