NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Infectious disease test development firm Atlas Genetics announced this week the completion of a Series B financing round that raised £16.9 million ($27.3 million).
The funds, to be drawn down over three years, will be used to accelerate the launch of Atlas' Velox point-of-care products for chlamydia and gonorrhea, as well as for the development of other tests and to expand the immunoassay capability of the Velox system, the Bristol, UK-based company said.
Velox is a molecular diagnostic platform that runs assays for the detection of DNA and RNA using electrochemistry. According to Atlas' website, its single-use test cartridges contain all the reagents that are needed to extract DNA, amplify a specific sequence, and detect the target.
The technology uses target-specific probes labeled with an electronic ferrocene tag. After the pathogen DNA is copied, the probe is added, which then binds with the pathogen DNA. This, in combination with a specific enzyme, makes detection of an electronic signal possible.
Leading the financing round was new investor Novartis Venture Funds and existing investor Consort Medical. Other new investors included Life Science Partners, BB Biotech Ventures, and Johnson & Johnson Development.
In February, Atlas raised £1.5 million when Consort Medical took a 20 percent stake in the company. Spun out of Bath University, it raised about $4.1 million in 2008.