Print 29 January 2015
Funds to accelerate global launch of Atlas io® molecular testing system
Bath, UK, 29 January, 2015. Atlas Genetics Ltd (“Atlas” or the “Company”), the ultra-rapid ‘test and treat’ molecular diagnostics company, today announces the completion of a Series C financing, raising $20 million from a syndicate including existing investors and one new investor, RMI Partners. New investor, RMI Partners, is a global life sciences venture capital firm, the largest in Eastern Europe. Existing investors include Novartis Venture Funds, Consort Medical plc, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc., LSP, BB Biotech Ventures and South West Ventures Fund. This newly announced financing follows on from the previously announced Series B fundraising of $25 million.
Atlas develops ultra-rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests for infectious diseases. The io® system is at an advanced stage of development and is expected to be launched in Europe with the first test for Chlamydia later this year. The Series C investment will be used to accelerate the launch of the io® system, initiate US clinical trials, and expand the menu of tests available initially in the STI (sexually transmitted infections) and HAI (hospital acquired infections) markets. The io® system is a highly novel molecular diagnostic system for the ultra-rapid diagnosis of a broad range of infectious diseases. It is based on a patent-protected electrochemical sensor technology that combines speed, accuracy and low manufacturing costs. The fully integrated cartridge contains all reagents on board and is designed to receive an unprocessed clinical specimen. The cartridge is then inserted into the reader instrument which then completes the three-stage process of sample preparation, DNA amplification and electrochemical detection, to analyse the patient’s sample for the target infection. Each cartridge can carry out up to 24 different tests from a single patient sample. The io® system offers a ‘sample to answer’ time of under 30 minutes making it possible to carry out infectious disease tests in primary care clinics and physicians’ offices that are as accurate as those carried out in hospital laboratories. This will enable clinicians to test and commence treatment within the same appointment and ensure much improved compliance, particularly in the area of STIs, where a significant proportion of patients fail to return for test results or follow-on treatment.
Dr John Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas, commented: “We would like to thank our investors for their continued support and we are delighted to welcome RMI Partners to the syndicate. This is an exciting time for the Company as we prepare our first product, a test for the sexually transmitted infection Chlamydia, for launch in Europe later this year. The funds raised will enable us to commercialise our io® system and to build out a programme of much needed ‘test and treat’ assays in markets where time really does matter, both for the physician and for the patient.”
Maxim Gorbachev, Partner of RMI Partners added: "We have been impressed by what the Atlas management team have accomplished so far and the Company’s near-term potential for growth. The proposed technology offers a ‘test and treat’ solution to improve patient outcomes, operational efficiencies, and reduce the overall cost of care. RMI Partners is enthusiastic to join this top-tier group of existing investors."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Atlas Genetics (www.atlasgenetics.com)
Atlas (Atlas Genetics Ltd) develops ultra-rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests for infectious diseases. The Atlas io® Reader uses patented technology based on the use of a novel electrochemical sensor that combines speed, accuracy and multiplex detection capability. The Company has its head office and laboratory facilities near Bath in the UK.
RMI Partners (www.rmivc.com )
RMI Partners is a global life sciences venture capital investment firm, and the largest in the fast growing economies of Russia and Eastern Europe with US$500m under management. RMI Partners is managing a venture project RusnanoMedInvest, a subsidiary of RUSNANO JSC, created in 2012 for the implementation of innovative projects in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals..
Novartis Venture Funds (www.venturefund.novartis.com )
The Novartis Venture Funds, established in 1996 currently manage over $750 million in committed capital. NVF invests in companies which have the potential to change a core therapeutic field or explore new business areas that will be critical to patient care. With eight investment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA, the team has extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D, medical devices, diagnostics and venture capital.
Consort Medical (www.consortmedical.com )
Consort Medical plc is a leading, global, single source drug and delivery device company (CDMO). Consort is at the leading edge of innovation and is committed to investing in patient, clinician and customer driven innovation to create new treatments, new markets and new opportunities. Consort employs more than 2000 people globally of which 1400 are located in the UK. Consort Medical is a public company quoted on the premium list of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: CSRT).
Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc. (www.jjdevcorp.com)
Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc (JJDC) is the venture capital subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. JJDC is comprised of experts and leaders in the health care and technology venture communities who identify early market indicators, health care trends, and strategic investment opportunities. Unlike traditional venture capital firms, JJDC determines the success of an investment’s performance not only in financial returns, but also in the viability of providing strategic growth options for Johnson & Johnson.
LSP is one of Europe’s largest and most experienced healthcare investment firms. With a track record going back more than 25 years, it has built up an investment house that is dedicated to only one task: seeking, nurturing and growing healthcare investment opportunities with the potential to have a positive impact on society. From offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, the team aims to back the smartest inventors with the best ideas.
BB Biotech Ventures (www.bbbiotechventures.com)
BB Biotech Ventures is dedicated to investing in emerging healthcare companies and primarily focuses on product-driven, clinical-stage drug development and medical device companies. BB Biotech Ventures will also consider revenue-stage businesses requiring growth capital, or earlier-stage technology platform companies.
South West Ventures Fund (www.techvp.co.uk)
South West Ventures Fund (SWVF) is the Regional Venture Capital Fund for South West England. SWVF first invested in Atlas Genetics in 2006 and has reinvested in the company throughout the period. SWVF is managed by Technology Venture Partners LLP based at the Innovation Centre at Bristol & Bath Science Park.
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