Funds to accelerate global launch of Atlas io® molecular testing system
Bath, UK, 29 January, 2015. Atlas Genetics Ltd (“Atlas” or the “Company”), the ultra-rapid ‘test and treat’ molecular diagnostics company, today announces the completion of a Series C financing, raising $20 million from a syndicate including existing investors and one new investor, RMI Partners. New investor, RMI Partners, is a global life sciences venture capital firm, the largest in Eastern Europe. Existing investors include Novartis Venture Funds, Consort Medical plc, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc., LSP, BB Biotech Ventures and South West Ventures Fund. This newly announced financing follows on from the previously announced Series B fundraising of $25 million.
Atlas develops ultra-rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests for infectious diseases. The io® system is at an advanced stage of development and is expected to be launched in Europe with the first test for Chlamydia later this year. The Series C investment will be used to accelerate the launch of the io® system, initiate US clinical trials, and expand the menu of tests available initially in the STI (sexually transmitted infections) and HAI (hospital acquired infections) markets. The io® system is a highly novel molecular diagnostic system for the ultra-rapid diagnosis of a broad range of infectious diseases. It is based on a patent-protected electrochemical sensor technology that combines speed, accuracy and low manufacturing costs. The fully integrated cartridge contains all reagents on board and is designed to receive an unprocessed clinical specimen. The cartridge is then inserted into the reader instrument which then completes the three-stage process of sample preparation, DNA amplification and electrochemical detection, to analyse the patient’s sample for the target infection. Each cartridge can carry out up to 24 different tests from a single patient sample. The io® system offers a ‘sample to answer’ time of under 30 minutes making it possible to carry out infectious disease tests in primary care clinics and physicians’ offices that are as accurate as those carried out in hospital laboratories. This will enable clinicians to test and commence treatment within the same appointment and ensure much improved compliance, particularly in the area of STIs, where a significant proportion of patients fail to return for test results or follow-on treatment.
Dr John Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas, commented: “We would like to thank our investors for their continued support and we are delighted to welcome RMI Partners to the syndicate. This is an exciting time for the Company as we prepare our first product, a test for the sexually transmitted infection Chlamydia, for launch in Europe later this year. The funds raised will enable us to commercialise our io® system and to build out a programme of much needed ‘test and treat’ assays in markets where time really does matter, both for the physician and for the patient.”
Maxim Gorbachev, Partner of RMI Partners added: "We have been impressed by what the Atlas management team have accomplished so far and the Company’s near-term potential for growth. The proposed technology offers a ‘test and treat’ solution to improve patient outcomes, operational efficiencies, and reduce the overall cost of care. RMI Partners is enthusiastic to join this top-tier group of existing investors."