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GEN News Highlights : Mar 26, 2012

Abingdon Health Raises £3M to Buy 50.1% of POC Dx Firm Molecular Vision

Company is developing BioLED platform that combines microfluidic chips with light-emitting polymer technologies.

U.K.-based diagnostics firm Abingdon Health received a £2 million (about $3.2 million) equity investment from Imperial Innovations Group, and another £1.02 million from private investors, to fund its acquisition of a 50.1% interest in Imperial’s portfolio company Molecular Vision. Imperial Innovations invests in technologies originating from Imperial College London, Cambridge University, Oxford University, and University College London. Following the investment round, Imperial Innovations will hold a 28.6% stake in Abingdon Health and retain a 36.4% stake in Molecular Vision.

Abingdon says the £3 million fundraising will also allow it to invest in other projects, including portfolio companies established by Bioscience Ventures, a joint venture between Abingdon and the University of Birmingham.  

Molecular Vision is developing a disposable, quantitative point-of-care diagnostic device called BioLED, which is designed to test simultaneously for multiple disease markers. The optical detection platform combines lab-on-a-chip and light-emitting polymer LEP technologies. To date, the development focus has been for diagnostic applications in kidney function and cardiovascular disease, but Abingdon maintains the platform technology could be used for in a wide range of fields including biodefense.

Abingdon’s Bioscience Ventures initiative with the University of Birmingham was launched in 2010 to develop and commercialize university IP into diagnostic tools and platform technologies. The current portfolio of companies includes: Serascience, which is developing point-of-care tests for diagnosing myeloma and related conditions; Linear Diagnostics, which is developing a linear dichroism-based platform for the multiplexed detection of infectious disease agents in sepsis; and Alta Bioscience, which specializes in the manufacture of peptides and oligos, and offers amino acid analysis and protein sequencing services. Bioscience Ventures is separately developing a urine-based test for diagnosing adrenal cancer.