£2m funding boost for Q Chip

Q Chip, the Cardiff University spin-out company that develops advanced systems for the life sciences, has raised more than £2m for R&D and to commercialise its products


Q Chip, the CardiffUniversityspin-out company that develops advanced systems for the life sciences, has raised more than £2m for R&D and to commercialise its products.



Based at Cardiff Medicentre at University College Hospital Wales, Q Chip will use the new investment to support products such as the ReaX Lab-in-a-Bead, which was launched earlier this year.



ReaX Lab-in-a-Bead is claimed to offer the first customised bead-based, ready assembled reagents in the DNA testing market. ReaX simplifies polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a widely used laboratory technique used for tasks such as blood testing, diagnosing diseases and the identification of genetic fingerprints.



According to Q Chip, ReaX is more reliable compared with existing techniques because it eliminates basic handling errors, which allows untrained laboratory staff to carry out DNA tests. It is also said to be 90 per cent faster at setting up PCR analysis.



Biofusion, a university IP commercialisation company, contributed £125,000 in the fund, which means it now has a 10 per cent stake in Q Chip. Other investors included E-Synergy’s Early Growth Fund, individual shareholders such as Jon Moulton, who is also managing partner of Alchemy Partners, Geneva-based Forum des Entrepreneurs and London-based Sustainable Technology Fund and Finance Wales.



Mark Barry, chief executive of Q Chip, said: ‘Q Chip now has the currency to accelerate the development of our products and sales and marketing channels, and add new production infrastructure.’



Q Chip was founded in 2003 with support from David Pascoe of the Medicentre, and Welsh Assembly Government schemes such as SMART and Relay.