Technology commercialisation and investment group Imperial Innovations Group has led a 3 million pounds ($4.7 million) funding round in Abingdon Health, a medical diagnostics company, alongside other private investors. Oxford-based Abingdon Health was founded and is led by Dr Chris Hand, to commercialise a portfolio of novel clinical diagnostics technologies.
Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’), a leading technology commercialisation and investment group, has led a £3m funding round in Abingdon Health, a specialist medical diagnostics company, alongside other private investors.
Oxford based Abingdon Health is a business founded and led by Dr Chris Hand, to commercialise a portfolio of novel clinical diagnostics technologies. He is also interim CEO of Innovations portfolio company, Molecular Vision.
Abingdon Health will use the funds to invest in and take a controlling 50.1% interest in Molecular Vision, as well as investing in other projects in its portfolio including those from its joint venture with the University of Birmingham, Bioscience Ventures Ltd.
Molecular Vision is developing low-cost, lab-quality, point of care, disposable diagnostic devices for medical testing. These devices currently focus on areas of high disease burden such as kidney function and cardiovascular disease, and have the potential to be used across a wide spectrum of healthcare and other applications where simple, on-site analysis is required. Abingdon Health intends to accelerate development of Molecular Vision’s technology by bringing complementary capabilities from other companies in its portfolio together with Molecular Vision’s platform.
Dr Chris Hand, formerly the founder and CEO of Cozart Bioscience Ltd, which sold for £65 million to Concateno plc in 2007, and non-executive director of Concateno plc until its sale to Inverness Medical Innovations for £147m in 2009, founded Abingdon Health in 2008 with Dr Brett Pollard, the former Head of Life Science research at Numis.
Innovations has invested £2m in this round. Following the investment, Innovations will hold a 28.6% stake in Abingdon Health and will retain 36.4% stake in Molecular Vision. Rebecca Todd, Director Healthcare Ventures at Imperial Innovations, will take a place on the board of Abingdon Health.
Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Innovations, said:
“This is a great opportunity to combine the strength of Molecular Vision’s diagnostics platform, which originated from research at Imperial College London with the technologies developed by Abingdon Health. We are pleased to back proven entrepreneur, Chris Hand and the team as Abingdon Health takes these complimentary solutions forward.”
Dr Chris Hand, CEO Abingdon Health said:
“This is an important step in our strategy of creating a fully functional, specialist diagnostics business. Early detection is critical for improved treatment outcomes and there is a real need for simple, faster and more accurate point of care tests. With our expanding portfolio of products, we are well placed to take a share of the US$11.2bn global immunodiagnostics market. Imperial Innovations’ knowledge and expertise will be increasingly valuable as we accelerate the commercialisation of our technologies.”
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Notes to editors
Imperial Innovations – www.imperialinnovations.co.uk
Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise.
Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:
leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages
providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products
providing operational expertise
helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members
Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London; and Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL supported by its collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.
By raising £140 million in January 2011, Innovations has been able to accelerate the making of, and increase the size of its investments. In the year to 31 July 2011, Innovations invested £35.1 million (2010: £14 million) in 23 ventures, and launched six new companies.
In its current portfolio of 78 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative vaccines for the treatment of a wide range of allergies; and Nexeon, a battery materials and licensing company which develops silicon anodes which extend the life and increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries.
Abingdon Health – www.abingdonhealth.com
Abingdon Health is a specialist medical diagnostics company based in London. The Company works with the world’s best scientists to acquire, develop and distribute state-of-the art diagnostic tools and services. Their mission is to create a global, diversified healthcare business through both selective acquisition and the development of patent protected, clinically relevant diagnostic products.
In November 2010, Abingdon launched a joint venture with the University of Birmingham, Bioscience Ventures Limited (“Bioscience Ventures”), to commercialise intellectual property developed at the University. Bioscience Ventures is developing new diagnostic tools for conditions where there is currently unmet need in markets such as oncology, genetic diseases and platform technologies with applications in many areas including infectious diseases, drug testing and veterinary. It currently has the following companies within its portfolio:
· Serascience Ltd – developing fast, accurate point of care tests to aid the diagnosis of myeloma and related conditions;
· Linear Diagnostics Ltd – focused on the development of a platform technology based on linear dichroism which is currently being applied to the multiplexed detection of infectious disease agents in sepsis;
· Alta Bioscience Ltd – manufactures and sells speciality chemicals such as peptides and oligonucleotides and performs amino-acid analysis and protein sequencing for the pharmaceutical industry, food industry and academia;
· Bioscience Ventures is also working on a new urine test for the diagnosis of adrenal cancer.