Funding to help Lumora enter molecular diagnostics market

Lumora has secured £1.5m from the completion of the company’s latest funding round, led by Catapult Venture Managers.

The Cambridgeshire-based company is developing next-generation tests through its proprietary Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time (BART) technology platform, a tool for molecular diagnostics.

The technology is claimed to couple the sensitive detection of specific analytes — such as nucleic acids, proteins or small molecules — to a quantitative, real-time luminescent output. It is based on innovative signalling chemistry and allows tests to be performed at a single temperature without the need for expensive optics.

The investment will be used primarily to accelerate the company’s entry into the clinical molecular diagnostics market, which is valued at $6bn (£3.6bn).

‘The platform is uniquely low-cost for both hardware and consumables and so represents an exciting new approach to bringing the advantages of molecular diagnostics to resource-limited settings,’ said Laurence Tisi, chief executive officer of Lumora. ‘Lumora is already collaborating with an internationally renowned not-for-profit organisation in the field of HIV viral load monitoring.’

‘An exciting application for Lumora’s technology is the provision of a low-cost solution for HIV testing in less developed regions… where there is generally less access to the current higher-cost, more sophisticated laboratory alternatives,’ added Ed Wass, Catapult investment director.

Catapult has invested slightly more than £1m from its Catapult Growth Fund, with the balance coming from a follow-on investment from Lumora’s major shareholder, Tate & Lyle Ventures.