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23 June, 2011 - 17:28 By News Desk

Lumora clinches £1.5m funding

Lumora CEO, Laurence Tisi

Lumora Ltd, the Cambridge based molecular diagnostics company, has secured £1.5 million from the completion of the company’s latest funding round, led by Catapult Venture Managers Ltd.

Lumora is developing next generation tests through its proprietary BART Technology platform.

The capital injection will primarily be used to accelerate Lumora’s entry into the clinical molecular diagnostic market, which is already valued at $6 billion and has the potential for explosive growth in emerging markets.

The company’s development programmes focus on applications which benefit from the robust, affordable, easy-to-use nature of their core technology, such as an integrated testing station for gastrointestinal (GI) infections and an HIV viral load monitoring system to support drug therapy in the developing world.

Catapult has invested just over £1 million from its Catapult Growth Fund, with the balance coming from a follow-on investment from Lumora’s major shareholder, Tate & Lyle Ventures LP.

Having proven the technology within food safety testing, the company now plans to enter the much larger clinical diagnostics sector.

Lumora has developed the simplest ever platform for molecular diagnostics based on an innovative signalling chemistry. The technology allows tests to be performed at a single temperature and without the need for expensive optics, hence hardware is uniquely simple and low-cost.

CEO Laurence Tisi said: “The platform is uniquely low-cost for both hardware and consumables and so represents an exciting new approach to bringing the advantages of molecular diagnostics to resource limited settings. Lumora is already collaborating with an internationally renowned not-for-profit organisation in the field of HIV viral load monitoring.”

Ed Wass, Catapult Investment Director, added: “An exciting application for Lumora’s technology is provision of a low cost solution for HIV testing in less developed regions, such as Africa, where there is generally less access to the current higher cost, more sophisticated laboratory alternatives.

“The technology has already been proven for food safety testing, and Lumora is now exploring commercial partnerships for clinical diagnostics. Lumora is a very exciting company with great prospects and vision and we are very pleased to be supporting its future growth.”

• Photograph shows: Lumora CEO, Laurence Tisi

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