Vivacta secures further £4m financing to develop piezofilm diagnostics device

10 Dec 2010

Vivacta Limited, a UK company that has developed a revolutionary platform for point-of-care testing, closed a further £4 million financing round last month. The current shareholders, HBM BioVentures, IDInvest Partners (formerly AGF Private Equity), Spark Ventures and Viking, all participated in the round.

The company previously raised US$5.25m in 2006, US$12m in 2007, and US$4.5m in 2009.

Vivacta’s innovative piezofilm technology platform enables the development of a new generation of point of care diagnostic products achieving very high sensitivity and wide dynamic range, equivalent to laboratory testing. The test utilises whole-blood samples and requires only a finger prick sample, taken with a credit-card sized device that both samples and analyses the blood, providing actionable results within 10 minutes.

Vivacta has successfully developed a diagnostic test for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), one of the most widely prescribed laboratory tests and the industry gold standard for immunoassays by which major diagnostic companies measure the performance of competing platforms.

Vivacta’s TSH product demonstrates the high sensitivity, wide dynamic range, precision and speed to result enabled by the technology. Vivacta is also developing a multiple analyte cardiovascular diagnostic test for use in the emergency room and acute care settings, where there is a compelling need for rapid diagnosis of possible heart attack and related time-critical medical conditions.

Future applications include diagnostic tests for prostate cancer, diabetes, sepsis, acute renal and infectious diseases.

Dr Tim Carter, Chief Executive Officer of Vivacta and co-inventor of the piezofilm platform technology, said: “Our technology has the potential to revolutionise point of care diagnosis. This fundraising enables us to continue to maximise the potential of our platform and demonstrates the commitment of our investors in the Company.”

Vivacta’s technology has been used to measure both small and large molecules and the goal ultimately is to measure nucleic acids. Target applications include diagnosis of infections, sepsis and stroke, companion diagnostics, therapeutic drug monitoring, vaccination status and therapeutic effectiveness monitoring such as the detection of anti-drug antibodies, as well as personalised medicine applications.

Vivacta collaborates with healthcare companies to develop point of care diagnostics for these applications.

Vivacta’s patented system is simple to use, cost effective, and is packaged within a small, self-contained cartridge with all reagents dried down. The unique cartridge system reduces the amount of patient blood required and removes the need for red cell separation. Single and multiple assay cartridges and readers have been developed. The multiple assay system allows simultaneous testing of several different analytes or the same analyte more than once to further enhance dynamic range and sensitivity.

Cartridges are inserted by the user into a compact reader which provides data rapidly to users at the point of care and simultaneously to remote locations such as laboratories within decentralised healthcare networks. The system is designed to meet the criteria for CLIA waiver.

Vivacta has a proven product development and manufacturing process with a certified quality system. Its pilot facility for manufacturing cartridges provides partners with smallscale manufacture and process development resource. Vivacta has established a strong, independent IP base with a portfolio comprising over 10 patent families.


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