The funding will enable OxDX Ltd, a new Oxford University spin-out, to commercialise a technology that can detect and identify an infectious disease in seconds.
The team at Science Creates Ventures have kick-started 2022 by confirming an investment into OxDX, a Oxford University spin-out. The pre-seed funding of £2.6 million will allow the recently-founded company to commercialise technology that identifies the cause of infections in seconds and could significantly reduce the cost of multiplex testing.
The urgent need for rapid and sensitive virus detection and diagnostic methods has been thrown into sharp relief by the pandemic. The OxDX team have successfully used their technology to identify respiratory viruses in clinical samples and, in the case of Covid-19 and flu viruses, directly identify the strain. What’s more, the technology has an exciting future in a post-pandemic world: it could be applied to numerous infectious diseases, both existing and yet to emerge.
The capital will allow OxDX to grow its team and validate the diagnostic platform, to ultimately take it out of the laboratory to where it’s most needed – ‘points of care’ like hospitals and doctor’s surgeries.
OxDX’s diagnostic platform brings together two technologies into a new method of diagnosing disease. First, a novel universal labelling method that harnesses super-resolution fluorescent microscopy to identify pathogens in a sample, followed by the use of machine learning to deduce which specific viruses and bacteria they are. Using only one sample from a patient, many diagnostic enquiries can be run simultaneously and present a diagnosis in mere minutes.
The connectivity of the computing-based platform also means that as new pathogens emerge and are identified within the OxDX diagnostic system, that information becomes instantly available to all users. All that’s needed is a simple software update. In the case of a new infectious disease, it could eliminate the need for new testing with new reagents or assays. This could drastically cut costs and increase the speed and availability of diagnosis.
Words from the team:
Alex Batchelor, CEO of OxDX said: “Our ability to take a sample from someone with an unknown infection and answer the open question “what do they have?” within a minute is a gamechanger for infection diagnosis and treatment. We’ll start with respiratory viruses and expand from there. In parallel, we’ll be simplifying the workflow to move the test from the lab to point of care.”
Catherine Fletcher, Principal at Science Creates Ventures said: “What excites us as investors is that we see this innovation’s potential to identify a broad scope of diseases – not just the respiratory viruses that formed the proof of concept. In a post-covid world, this has the potential to transform diagnostics at the point of care. We’re pleased to be supporting the team at OxDX and look forward to a great future.”
A syndicated deep tech investment:
Science Creates Ventures is part of a strong syndicate enabling this pre-seed fund raise for OxDX. The investing partners, IQ Capital and Ahren Innovation Capital bring extensive expertise in emerging technologies and are two of the UK’s most experienced deep tech investors.
Find out more about OxDX and keep up to date with the latest developments here.
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