A Wirral company which has developed novel in-vitro molecular diagnostic (IVD) products is expanding with a £2.1m investment.
Biofortuna Limited based in Bromborough has produced a unique range of IVD products for the transplantation and pharmacogenetic markets. The company uses specialist freeze drying technology which stabilises the components in the kits allowing them to be shipped more easily.
Normally such genetic tests need to be stored and transported at sub zero temperatures, then be carefully warmed and mixed with various reagents in a number of stages before the test sample is added. Biofortuna’s products can be shipped in the post, stored at room temperature and, as all reagents are included pre-mixed, the user only needs to add the DNA sample – significantly reducing complexity and cost.
To date Biofortuna has 17 SSPGo™ HLA genotyping kits targeted at the transplantation, disease association and companion diagnostic markets.
The company was established in 2008 with funding from MSIF through its Liverpool Seed Fund. This latest round of funding includes a further equity investment from MSIF through its Merseyside Loan & Equity Fund and investments by Foresight a London-based VCT fund, EV’s Rising Stars Growth Fund (RSGF), Catapult Growth Fund, the management and other private investors.
Simon Douglas, CEO of Biofortuna added: “This latest round of funding will enable us to grow the business by gaining regulatory approval in the USA, expanding our product line and helping us to penetrate new markets.
“MSIF has been with Biofortuna from the beginning and their support has been invaluable in getting us to where we are now. They understand the goals of the business and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them.”
MSIF’s portfolio director Janet Butler who oversaw the investment for MSIF said: “MSIF has invested in some exciting companies within this sector and Biofortuna is certainly one of them. The company has developed some really innovative products that are attracting a lot of interest and we are very pleased to be supporting them through this next phase of growth.”
MSIF’s Merseyside Loan & Equity Fund provides finance between £50k and £2m.
Source: MSIF, 21st March 2012