University of Birmingham spinout companies

Over the years we have set up a number of companies to commercialise the results of our research, and established a portfolio of companies in which we retain an equity stake. These companies cover a wide range of sectors, for example Psioxus Therapeutics target the treatment of cancer, and Cambridge Mechatronics develop innovative actuation systems for consumer electronics such as cameras used in smart phones. 

Below are some further examples of our spinout activities.

Bioscience Ventures - Award winning collaboration  

Abingdon Health Ltd, a specialist medical diagnostics company, and the University of Birmingham have each committed £1 million of investment into their joint venture, Biosciences Ventures Limited, which is commercialising the intellectual property generated at the University in the field of medical diagnostics.

Bioscience Ventures is developing and marketing new diagnostics tools for conditions where there is currently an unmet medical need, focussing on therapeutic areas such as oncology and genetic diseases. It is also commercialising a proprietary platform technology with many potential applications including the detection
of infectious diseases, drug testing and in veterinary medicine.

The funds will be used to invest in new opportunities within the University as well as accelerate the development of Bioscience Venture’s existing companies including Serascience Ltd, which is developing point-of-care (near-patient) devices for the management of myeloma and related conditions, and Alta Bioscience Ltd which is expanding its speciality chemical synthesis and analysis services.

'Through combining the University’s world-class expertise and intellectual property with
Abingdon’s strong track record of commercialisation, we are creating a new range of products that address the growing demand for faster, simpler and more accurate
diagnostic tools.’


Chris Hand, CEO of Abingdon Health

Linear Diagnostics Ltd - Separating the wheat from the chaff 

University of Birmingham spinout company, Linear Diagnostics Ltd, together with Molecular Vision Ltd and the Food and Environment Research Council (Fera) have recently announced the award of a £392k grant from the UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, to help fund a two year project that will aim to prevent the spread of diseases in harvested crops.

The project aims to develop a low cost, onsite, single test for multiple pathogens that will help prevent the spread of spoilage diseases when crops enter storage or are washed prior to packaging. It will combine Linear Diagnostics, patented linear dichroism detection technique with the optical detection expertise of Molecular Vision and the key reagents and detection expertise of Fera. QV Food, a major food producer, and the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board will act as advisors on the project.

Linear Diagnostics is a specialist diagnostic company, established by Bioscience Ventures, a joint venture between Abingdon Health and the University of Birmingham. The Company has developed a proprietary platform technology based on linear dichroism, a molecular spectroscopic technique, to create rapid, onsite tests for the detection of multiple agents.  The technology was invented by Professor Tim Dafforn and Dr Matt Hicks from the University's School of Biosciences, and can be applied across a number of sectors including agriculture, veterinary and human healthcare, where the company is currently developing a test for the multiplexed detection of infectious disease agents in sepsis.

'Linear Diagnostics is the second company to emerge from BioScience Ventures and is further validation of our model to commercialise IP from the University of Birmingham. This is an exciting project, which leverages the collective expertise within the Abingdon Health group and has the potential to transform current agri-food testing and provide significant economic benefits.'

Dr Chris Hand, CEO, Abingdon Health

Cytox Ltd - Spinout receives £3.5 million investment

University of Birmingham spinout company, Cytox Ltd, developer of a unique blood biomarker, ADpredict™, recently announced a £3.5 million injection from new and existing backers reassured by a new, experienced management team.

ADpredict™, a blood-based test in development for identifying Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in early symptomatic patients, was developed by Cytox’s Science Director, Dr Zsuzsanna Nagy, Lead of the Neurodegeneration and Repair team based at the University of Birmingham.

Cytox has also unveiled the completion of a study sponsored by Roche on ADpredict™ and the results further build their confidence that the assay – based on a totally novel paradigm for the disease causing mechanism for AD – will become an important tool to assist pharma companies in their development of new therapies.

Steered by experienced diagnostics entrepreneur David Evans as Chairman, Cytox has appointed an ex-GE Medical Diagnostics Global Head of Research & Development, Richard Pither, as CEO. Cytox has a strong intellectual property portfolio of in vitro diagnostic products all of which are licensed from the University of Birmingham via its wholly owned subsidiary Alta Innovations Ltd and the University of Oxford via ISIS Innovation, its technology transfer subsidiary.

‘We have exceeded our expectations for the first round of funding for Cytox with around 85% of this investment coming from new backers. They are as excited as we are by Cytox’s proposition at a time when an early biomarker for Alzheimer’s is so keenly needed. We will now push forward with our plans to complete the remaining steps in assay development, deliver near-term revenue opportunities and conduct prospective clinical studies.’

David Evans, Chairman, Cytox Ltd