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Scottish Molecular Dx Firm DestiNA Genomics Bags $1.5M in Investments

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Scottish molecular diagnostics firm DestiNA Genomics has received €1.2 million ($1.5 million) in equity investments that it will use to commercialize novel tests for cancer and infectious diseases, the economic development agency Scottish Enterprise said this week.

The new funding for the Edinburgh-based company was led by Vitro Group of Spain, the Scottish Investment Bank (part of Scottish Enterprise), Old College Capital, and private investors in the UK, Spain, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia.

A spinout from the University of Edinburgh, DestiNA formed in 2010 based on inventions and patents developed by Juan Diaz Mochon and Mark Bradley of the university's School of Chemistry.

The firm's technology combines aldehyde modified Smart Nucleobases with peptide nucleic acid capture probes, or DGL probes, for use in chemical nucleic acid and mutation testing, according to DestiNA's website. The company states that its technology can detect DNA or RNA, does not produce false positives, and that its reagents may be developed to achieve the speed and accuracy required in situations such as accidents and emergencies.

DestiNA plans to collaborate closely with Master Diagnostica, a subsidiary of Vitro Group, to develop a colon cancer assay, and it has been developing direct collaborations with other research and commercial groups in the UK and Italy.

The Smart Nucleobase patent has been approved for grant in the US and in Europe, Scottish Enterprise said.