The £1m proposal

County Durham-based Analytical NanoTechnologies (ANTnano) has signed a £100,000 licensing agreement with Microarray for exclusive worldwide distribution rights for its chemical detection technology.

The agreement gives ANTnano the option to buy Microarray for £1m by June 30, by which time it hopes to have completed its push to float on AIM. The company has seen its value rise from £1.8m to £7m since it floated on the Plus Market in February 2007 and is anticipating further rapid growth.

Microarray has developed a device with 250,000 sensors in one square centimetre, which detects bacteria. ANTnano believes this sensor can provide the ability to develop a MRSA monitoring device. It already develops and manufactures nanotechnology air-monitoring equipment, which is used to sniff out Semtex.

The licensing agreement may find ANTnano paying £100,000 to Microarray for the exclusive worldwide licence for its products, plus a royalty charge.

ANTnano was founded four years ago as a spinout from Sunderland University.