Abingdon Health raises £3m


Takes controlling stake in Molecular Vision and is creating an integrated diagnostics company

Abingdon Health, a specialist medical diagnostics company based in the UK, has received £3m of equity investment in a funding round led by Imperial Innovations Group, a technology commercialisation and investment group.

The firm says it will use the funds to take a controlling 50.1% interest in Imperial’s portfolio company 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.

Following the investment, Imperial Innovations will hold a 28.6% stake in Abingdon Health and retain a 36.4% stake in Molecular Vision. Rebecca Todd, director of Healthcare Ventures at Imperial Innovations, will have a seat on the Board of Abingdon Health.

Molecular Vision is developing a point of care diagnostic test called BioLED, which will complement Abingdon’s existing technologies.

BioLED is a miniaturised, easy-to-use, disposable device that can simultaneously test for multiple disease markers using numerous single methods in the same device. Currently focused on areas of high disease burden such as kidney function and cardiovascular disease, the device has the potential to be used across a spectrum of healthcare and other applications.

Abingdon’s joint venture with Bioscience Ventures, launched in 2010, is focused on marketing intellectual property developed at the University of Birmingham. Bioscience Ventures is developing new diagnostic tools for therapeutic areas 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 – developing fast, accurate point of care tests to aid the diagnosis of myeloma and related conditions;
  • Linear Diagnostics – 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 – 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.

Chris Hand, chief executive of Abingdon Health, said: ‘This is an important step towards our strategy of creating a fully functional specialist diagnostics business. Early detection is critical for improved treatment outcomes and there is a significant need for simple, faster and more accurate point of care tests.’

Hand added: ‘Working with some of the world’s leading experts we are developing disruptive technologies and are well placed to take a share of the US$11.2bn global immunodiagnostics market. Imperial Innovations’ wealth of knowledge and expertise will be increasingly valuable as we accelerate the commercialisation of our novel technologies.’

Susan Searle, chief executive of Imperial Innovations, commented: ‘We are pleased to back a proven entrepreneur and are confident this portfolio approach, combining complementary technologies to form competitive diagnostic products represents the optimum route to market.’

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Abingdon was founded in 2008 by Hand, Chris Yates and Dr Brett Pollard, ex Head of Life Science Research at Numis and equity analyst at Seymour-Pierce and Deutsche Bank, to commercialise a portfolio of novel clinical diagnostics technologies.