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26 July, 2021 - 13:21 By Tony Quested

Wall Street offshoot buys Cambridge’s Biocrucible

Cambridge biotech company Biocrucible has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Sapphiros, a new platform dedicated to building the next generation of diagnostic technologies. It has been launched by Wall Street quoted global investment power player KKR.

Biocrucible, based at Granta Park, is leading the acceleration and enhancement of biochemical kinetics through the use of its Molten Tags technology.

It is developing a class-leading molecular diagnostic platform based on its proprietary isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology that it says is ideally suited to consumer and developing-world applications.

This platform has the potential to offer rapid results with PCR-like levels of sensitivity and specificity but in a fully-disposable format usable by both consumers at home and also in low-resource environments. 

Currently being developed for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the technology can also be used for the detection of other respiratory and non-respiratory pathogens. 

The acquisition by Sapphiros will provide further investment and operational support to accelerate this next-generation platform to market. 

Sapphiros is a newly-founded platform established to invest in growth-stage companies offering sophisticated near-patient diagnostic technologies. Led by Namal Nawana, previously CEO of Alere and subsequently Smith & Nephew, Sapphiros not only invests in these technologies but also offers wide resources, skills, and networks to enable rapid scaling. 

Dr Niall Armes, founder and CSO of Biocrucible, said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment for myself and the whole Biocrucible team who have built an amazing new molecular detection biochemistry. 

“We will push hard to bring the next generation of molecular detection products right to where they are needed – in the home, in the doctor’s surgery, and in low-resource settings. 

“This is a very personal opportunity for me finally to realise my ambition to lead the diagnostics sector with advanced cutting-edge technology solutions. We intend to make molecular diagnostics as accessible as their-lower performance lateral flow cousins.”

Dr David Brooks, CEO of Biocrucible, added: “The acquisition of Biocrucible by Sapphiros is a powerful validation of our approach to develop market-leading consumer molecular diagnostics. We look forward to working together with Sapphiros to scale our technology and deliver tangible benefits to patients worldwide.”

Sapphiros parent is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. It aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities.

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