Oxford Immunotec, a company developing tests for infectious and immunological diseases, raised $28 million in a new equity financing. The proceeds from this financing will be used to expand sales and marketing of the company’s lead product, the T-SPOT®.TB test for diagnosing latent TB infection. Oxford Immunotec will also use the funding to develop and commercialize new products focused on infectious and immunological disease.
Besides developing and selling tests in kit form, Oxford Immunotec also runs a testing laboratory business in the U.S. and the U.K. The company’s patented T-SPOT technology is an FDA-approved method for directly quantifying antigen-specific T cells.
The T-SPOT.TB test is one of two interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs), which detect latent TB infection and are replacing the 90-year-old tuberculin skin test currently used for this purpose. The World Health Organization estimated in 2006 that 50 million latent TB screening tests were performed each year, representing a greater than $1 billion per annum market opportunity for TB testing globally, Oxford Immunotec notes. IGRAs are now reportedly endorsed in clinical guidelines in over 20 countries and the T-SPOT.TB test has received regulatory approval in over 40 countries worldwide including the U.S., Europe, and China.
Since its establishment in 2002, Oxford Immunotec has completed five institutional funding rounds totaling approximately $110 million. The current round was led by new investors Imperial Innovations and Invesco Perpetual and supported by existing shareholders including Clarus, New Leaf, DFJ Esprit, Wellington, SPARK Ventures, the Dow Chemical Company, NTEC, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and the University of Oxford.
“Oxford Immunotec is a well-run, high-growth company in an exciting space,” remarks Susan Searle, CEO, Imperial Innovations. “This funding provides it with the capital to expand its operations in key markets and enables a U.K. university spin-out to become a truly multinational business.”