The University of Strathclyde has secured one of its biggest ever spin-out investment deals, collaborating with Renishaw to form a company that will produce diagnostic products that can detect diseases, or the genetic predisposition to diseases, much quicker than current tests.
Renishaw has invested cash and instrumentation with a combined value of approximately £5m over the next five years for a 75 per cent stake in the company, dubbed D3 Technologies.
The new detection technique they’ll employ – called Surface Enhanced Resonance Raman Scattering (SERRS) – allows several disease markers to be detected in a single sample of blood.
D3 will also develop products for use in the security and forensic markets that can detect minute traces of chemicals.
D3 itself was formed around a team from Strathclyde’s Chemistry department and involves Professors Ewen Smith and Duncan Graham, and Dr Karen Faulds.
The company, which benefited from both a Scottish Enterprise ‘Proof of Concept Plus’ grant and a SE/Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship in the period of initial business planning, was supported and mentored by serial life sciences entrepreneur Jim Reid, who is also CEO of Aberdeen University spin-out, Haptogen. Mr Reid is now a Non-Executive Director of D3.
D3 is also acquiring the analytical business unit (ABU) of Mesophotonics, a spin-out from the University of Southampton, which develops and manufactures substrates used in SERRS.