NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – UK molecular diagnostics firm Lumora today announced it has raised £1.5 million ($2.1 million) in second-stage funding.
Catapult Venture Managers was the lead investor, contributing £1 million. Lumora's major shareholder Tate & Lyle Ventures contributed the balance in a follow-on investment, Lumora said.
The funds will be used to accelerate the company's entry in the clinical molecular diagnostics space with its lead technology platform, called Bioluminescent Assay in Real-time (BART), a reporter system for use with isothermal nucleic acid amplification technologies. BART is based on signaling technologies and "allows tests to be performed at a single temperature and without the need for expensive, optics, hence hardware is uniquely simple and low-cost," Lumora said in a statement.
The technology "represents an exciting new approach to bringing the advantages of molecular diagnostics to resource-limited settings," Lumora CEO Laurence Tisi said, adding that the company is collaborating with a "renowned" not-for-profit organization in HIV viral load monitoring.
BART has been used for food safety applications, and the company plans to move into the clinical molecular diagnostics market, which Lumora estimates is valued at $6 billion. Lumora's development programs are focused on applications including an integrated testing station for gastrointestinal infections and an HIV viral load monitoring system to support drug therapy in developing nations.
Lumora also announced Jim Reid has joined its board as a non-executive director. He has worked at Roche and Chiron.