Oxford Immunotec Ltd., a UK-based developer of a diagnostic platform to examine a patient’s cellular response to infection, has raised $40 million in Series E funding. The round will be split up over two tranches. Wellington Partners and Clarus Ventures co-led the deal, and were joined by return backers DFJ Esprit, Quester Management and Dow Chemical Co.
DFJ Esprit, a top-tier, European technology venture capital firm, is pleased to announce that portfolio company Oxford Immunotec (or “the Company”) has completed the first stage of a major new US$40 million Series ‘E’ funding round. The round, one of the world’s largest for a diagnostics company in 2007, was led by two new international investors, Clarus Ventures of the USA with Munich based Wellington Partners and has been provided in two stages. DFJ Esprit contributed a further $2.6 million this time, through its Prelude Trust plc fund.
Oxford Immunotec is developing novel products based on its patented T-SPOT� technology, opening new ways to diagnose and monitor infection and disease or specifically to examine a patient’s cellular immune response to infection. The Company’s lead product is T SPOT.TB, a revolutionary in vitro diagnostic that measures T cells specific to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) antigens. It was developed for diagnosing both latent TB infection and TB disease in humans. T-SPOT.TB sets new clinical standards of sensitivity and reliability, particularly in the immunocompromised. T-SPOT.TB will be used instead of the century old tuberculin skin test.
Robert James, a partner with DFJ Esprit and a director of Oxford Immunotec said: “TB is a major global problem. In 2005 1.6 million people died from the disease. T-SPOT.TB is a revolutionary product with global potential and is an outstanding example of how early stage technology from Oxford University can be successfully commercialised. With TB a serious problem and 30 million skin tests being carried out in the developed world every year, Oxford Immunotec is well positioned to provide the world with a much needed diagnostic test for this illness.”
Dr. Peter Wrighton-Smith CEO and founder of Oxford Immunotec added: “We are pleased to have the support of this strong investment syndicate and look forward to working with our new investors. This investment will enable us to prepare for selling the product in the USA once we receive FDA approval. The funding will enable us to consolidate our position as a world leader in TB diagnostic technology and give the company the resources to apply its leading technology to the diagnosis of other infectious diseases.”