Abingdon Health Ltd acquires University of Birmingham Spinout, Serascience Ltd

Abingdon Health, a specialist rapid diagnostic technology company, recently announced its acquisition of Serascience Limited and the completion of group fund-raising of £2.1m from current shareholders. The acquisition represents a further development in Abingdon Health’s strategy to create a leading innovative global diagnostic company.

Serascience was formed in April 2011 through Abingdon Health’s and the University of Birmingham’s joint venture, Bioscience Ventures Limited (BSVL), which develops early stage diagnostics opportunities to the point at which they can be licensed, acquired, or sold as a service. Serascience licensed a portfolio of monoclonal antibodies from the University of Birmingham that include those which are specific for aiding the diagnosis of myeloma and related conditions. Its first product to market will be Seralite®, a near patient diagnostic device for multiple myeloma. The acquisition comes at the point where Serascience is undergoing beta-trials for Seralite® a rapid test for the diagnosis and monitoring of myeloma, and MGUS progression. This market is estimated to be worth over £200m per annum.

This acquisition strengthens Abingdon Health’s position in rapid diagnostic testing. Since Abingdon Health’s formation in 2008 the company has completed a series of selective acquisition and licensing transactions to bring together intellectual property, diagnostic platforms, manufacturing and created a sales and marketing structure.

The company continues to look at new opportunities to grow the business and welcomes collaborations from academia and industry. The investment round gained support from, inter alia, Imperial Innovations, the University of Birmingham and cofounder and CEO Dr Chris Hand.

Dr Chris Hand, Chief Executive Officer of Abingdon Health, commented: ‘The Company has made strong progress in its strategy to create a fully integrated, specialist diagnostics business. The acquisition of Serascience is the latest success in this strategy. Early detection is critical for improved treatment outcomes, there is an increasing demand for fast, accurate diagnostic tests and we are in a strong position to take advantage of the multiple opportunities within the US$11.2bn global immunodiagnostics market. We are delighted to continue to receive support from our shareholders and we are pleased that the University of Birmingham is now a shareholder of Abingdon Health, further strengthening our partnership. The additional investment will be used to continue to expand our development programmes and scale up of manufacture. I should like to thank our shareholders for their continuing support.’

Dr James Wilkie, CEO of the University of Birmingham’s technology transfer company, Alta Innovations, and newly appointed director to the board of Abingdon Health, said: ‘The acquisition of Serascience by Abingdon Health is a mark of how far the technology has advanced commercially under Bioscience Ventures’ management. It’s a great example of one of the many contributions the University of Birmingham is making to accelerate the adoption of early stage medical devices, diagnostics and therapeutics. We’re delighted to be supporting Abingdon Health on its ongoing journey to tackle the important field of rapid diagnostics, to improve patient care.’ 

Enquiries:

Tim Yates, Marketing and Communications Manager, University of Birmingham
Abingdon Health Ltd +44 (0)121 414 5156
Dr Chris Hand, Chief Executive Officer
Dr Brett Pollard, Chief Operating Officer

About:

Abingdon Health Ltd

Abingdon Health is a specialist medical diagnostics company with facilities in Birmingham and York. The Company works with the world’s best scientists to acquire, develop and distribute state-of-the art diagnostic tools and services. Their mission is to create a global, diversified healthcare business through both selective acquisition and the development of patent protected, clinically relevant diagnostic products.

Abingdon was founded in 2008 by Dr Chris Hand, Chris Yates and Dr Brett Pollard, to commercialise a portfolio of novel clinical diagnostics technologies. Chris Hand, is the ex-co-founder and CEO of Cozart Bioscience Ltd, which sold for £65 million to Concateno plc in 2007 and non- executive director of Concateno plc until its sale to Inverness Medical Innovations (IMA) for £147 million in 2009. Chris Yates is Finance Director of AIM listed IDS plc.

Brett Pollard is ex Head of Life Science Research at Numis and equity analyst at Seymour-Pierce and Deutsche Bank, Our core expertise lies in the development and manufacturing of rapid lateral flow diagnostics and reader systems, and this is demonstrated by our rapid diagnostic products Seralite®, Pocket Diagnostic®, and PCRD.

Bioscience Ventures Ltd

In 2010 Abingdon Health and the University of Birmingham formed Bioscience Ventures Limited, a joint venture company which develops early stage opportunities and progresses them to commercialisation. Serascience Limited and Linear Diagnostics Limited were the first 2 companies formed as a result of this venture, while another IP opportunity for urinary steroid profiling for adrenal cell carcinomas was incorporated into AltaBioscience Limited. AltaBioscience (now trading as Abingdon Health Laboratory Services) is a wholly owned subsidiary of BSVL, and supports the company’s ventures by providing critical laboratory products and services for in-vitro diagnostics development.

The University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution. Ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries. Alta Innovations Ltd is the University of Birmingham’s technology transfer company and is responsible for the commercialisation of research undertaken at the University. Alta Innovations links academic research with business through licensing and spinout activity, collaborative research and consultancy.