Birmingham University and Abingdon Health launch diagnostics joint
12 Nov 2010
The University of Birmingham and medical diagnostics
specialists, Abingdon Health Ltd have launched Bioscience Ventures
Limited to develop and market new diagnostics products for the
healthcare and other industries.
Biosciences Ventures will focus
on developing new diagnostic tools for conditions where there are
currently unmet needs in the market utilising intellectual property
developed at the University of Birmingham.
These conditions include various forms of cancer, genetic related
diseases and platform technologies with applications in many areas
of medicine including infectious disease testing, drug testing and
veterinary applications .
Operating from the University’s
campus in Edgbaston, near Birmingham, and through its established
trading subsidiary company, Alta Bioscience Ltd, Bioscience Ventures
will also provide a variety of services such as analysis and
synthesis of DNA, protein and other biochemicals to clients both on
and off campus in the pharmaceutical and food industries.
being sector specific, Bioscience Ventures will be able to add value
to the development and commercialisation process of medical
The new joint venture will be led by
Executive Chairman, Dr Chris Hand, who has more than 20 years
experience in the medical diagnostics industry. Dr Hand was the
former Chief Executive of medical diagnostics company Cozart plc.
Cozart was built around a specialisation in drugs of abuse testing,
with a particular focus on on-site testing systems for drugs in
saliva used in clinics, at the roadside and in safety-critical
environments. The company floated on the London AIM market and
following a series of four acquisitions, Dr Hand sold the business
for £65 million before forming Abingdon Health.
worldwide diagnostics market was worth in excess of $40bn in 2008
and is set to grow to $60bn by 2014. The immunodiagnostics segment
is the largest single market and is estimated to have a value of
$11.2bn. Within this sector some of the fastest growing areas
include infectious disease, cardiovascular, oncology and
Chris Hand, Executive Chairman, said: “We
believe that combining our proven product development and
commercialisation expertise with the world-class intellectual
property from the University of Birmingham will allow us to bring
important new diagnostic products to market. There is a clear
opportunity to create a new range of diagnostic products from the
University’s deep knowledge in this important and growing market.”
Professor Lawrence Young, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of
College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of
Birmingham, will become a board director of Biosciences Ventures.
Professor Young, whose own research interests focus on developing
gene and immuno-therapy treatments for cancer, said: “The University
of Birmingham has been exploring effective ways in which we can
unlock the potential of our intellectual property and enhance
knowledge transfer activities. This venture is truly exciting, as it
brings together two organisations that have a strong track record in
the field of medical diagnostics and provides an ideal blend of
academic and commercial skill sets. We are delighted to be
partnering with Abingdon Health on this ambitious new venture, and
look forward to a bright future.”