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7th November 2019

University of Birmingham spin-out secures £2m to develop medical diagnostic technology

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Equity FinanceGBSLEPMidven Equity Finance West Midlands

Investment will enable the company to invest in technical resource and accelerate product development

Birmingham-based Linear Diagnostics Limited (LDL) has secured £2m of investment from MEIF and other investors to develop new platform technology for medical diagnostic testing.

Following extensive research, the spin-out from the University of Birmingham is to create a platform that is able to provide multiple diagnoses in a Point of Care environment.

The funding round was led by venture capital firm Midven, using equity finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). The round also included investment from the UK Innovation Science and Seed Fund, the University of Birmingham, Abingdon Health and the company’s directors.

Linear Diagnostics’ platform uses the disruption of polarised light to measure changes in DNA sequences, offering a rapid and low cost method to identify key gene sequences.

The firm’s first test of the platform will see it target sexually transmitted diseases. The ability to detect drug resistant infections and rapidly identify the causal agent allows screening and treatment during a single patient visit. The World Health Organisation has recognised this is not yet capable of being achieved using alternative diagnostic approaches - Linear Diagnostics’ platform will eventually be able to diagnose multiple genetic targets from a single sample within a 15 minute timescale.

LDL was formed in 2011 by its founders Professor Tim Dafforn and Dr Matt Hicks, based on their patented research in the field of Linear Diachroism – using polarised light to identify changes at a molecular level.

Matt Hicks, CTO and Founder of Linear Diagnostics Limited, said: “We’re at a really exciting stage of our development and this round of investment is a fantastic opportunity for us take our explorations  and anaylsis to the next level. The funding will help us accelerate time to market of our initial product, through further investment in technical resource and beginning hardware development”.

Roger Wood, Director at Midven, said:Linear Diagnostics is an early stage business with huge potential, and is at an important and exciting juncture of its product development. It’s targeting a fast growing segment of the diagnostics market, and we are delighted to have led this significant funding round; this will enable the company to deliver on the next stage of its plans”.

Oliver Sexton, Investment Director of the UK Innovation Science and Seed Fund, said: “UKI2S backed the company to develop its molecular diagnostic capability. The platform’s rapid readout is unique, allowing diagnoses based on the presence or absence of key gene sequences with unparalleled accuracy.”

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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Sandiacre-based plastic moulding firm H.P.M is set to strengthen its presence in the #Midlands and create three new jobs following a £250,000 investment from #MEIF and @Maven_Midlands.

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Follow @midsenginv

Are you new to the @BritishBBank’s #MEIF? For clear information on the finance available through the Fund please visit our Quick Reference Guide here: https://t.co/SDilCE6y9Q https://t.co/cjEwnvR6n9 MidsEngInv photo

The #MEIF is now on LinkedIn. Follow us for the latest investment news, fund updates and information on securing external finance.

Connect here: https://t.co/mhwkGSoAcr https://t.co/VXP3Zc0pJ0
MidsEngInv photo

#MEIF Small Business Loans are available for a wide range of purposes including filling gaps in growth capital, funding new projects or purchasing equipment.

Connect with our fund managers @B_C_R_S and @1st_Enterprise and access more information here: https://t.co/FMbFV547x6 https://t.co/hnbIVDvsgI
MidsEngInv photo

Sandiacre-based plastic moulding firm H.P.M is set to strengthen its presence in the #Midlands and create three new jobs following a £250,000 investment from #MEIF and @Maven_Midlands.

Read more in @BLMEastMidlands: https://t.co/4DMMg7PolE https://t.co/IhQtmq6QHV
MidsEngInv photo

The @BritishBBank’s Business Finance Guide has been updated to help businesses experiencing challenges due to COVID-19.

The guide provides information on funding options, financial management and how to speak with lenders.

Visit the guide here: https://t.co/A1UBjWLnka https://t.co/xFVavqQqjI
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