24 February 2021 | News
The funds received by the University of Birmingham spinout will enable Linear Diagnostics to develop a prototype single-use cartridge and reader for our duplex test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
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Birmingham-based Linear Diagnostics Ltd has secured £800,000 from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) and other investors in the company’s second round of funding, which will enable the company to commence the development of the hardware platform for its tests.
The finance will facilitate the ongoing development of the company’s high-speed platform technology for point-of-care diagnostics. The funding package includes backing from MEIF Equity Finance, managed by venture capital firm Midven, the University of Birmingham and the UKI2S Fund. The UK Future Fund matched the investment from the initial investors.
Linear Diagnostics was founded in 2011 by Professor Tim Dafforn and Dr Matt Hicks as a spinout from the University of Birmingham’s School of Biosciences. Its diagnostics technology is based on research in linear dichroism, patented by University of Birmingham Enterprise, which uses polarised light to detect the presence of molecules in solutions.
The company has shown strong technical progress since its first investment, achieving clinical levels of accuracy in tests within its lab environment. Initially focusing on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Linear Diagnostics is developing a rapid test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea. The test will be capable of detecting multiple infections in the same sample in around 15 minutes by labelling each infection indicator with a different coloured dye.
The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, more than one million STIs are acquired every day. As most STIs show no or mild symptoms, point of care diagnostics will enable healthcare professionals to provide efficient, on-the-spot treatment, which will help reduce onward transmission and lower the risk of antibiotic resistance.