The Boards of Foresight VCT PLC, Foresight 3 VCT PLC and Foresight 4 VCT PLC are pleased to announce Foresight Group (“Foresight”) has completed a growth capital investment of £1.25m in Biofortuna Limited (“Biofortuna” or “the Company”), the UK-based molecular diagnostics company.
Biofortuna has developed a unique range of molecular diagnostic products using proprietary freeze-dried technology. Current genetic tests are stored and transported frozen and are required to be carefully thawed and mixed prior to the addition of patient DNA. Biofortuna’s uniquely designed and stabilized tests can be stored and transported at ambient temperature, eliminating the need for fridges, freezers and temperature controlled shipping. As all reagents are included premixed and freeze dried, the end user is only required to add the patients DNA sample which, in turn makes the test simple, quick and easy whilst reducing cost and manual errors. The Company’s initial range of products is targeted at the transplantation market, matching the genetic type of organ recipients with donor organs. Biofortuna has partnered with the molecular diagnostics business of the global life sciences giant Abbott, who are already distributing Biofortuna’s proprietary freeze-dried kits.
This investment sees Foresight reunited with Biofortuna CEO, Simon Douglas, formerly CEO of DNA Research Innovations (“DRI”), and Executive Chairman of Lab 901, both previous Foresight investee companies. DRI, a DNA purification business, was sold to Invitrogen for $65m in 2004.
Foresight’s £1.25m investment in Biofortuna is spread across three of Foresight’s family of market leading VCTs and represents 60% of the £2.1m fundraise for the company, with the balance put up by existing institutional investors (RSGF II, Catapult and MLEF), private investors and management. The new funds will enable the business to expand its manufacturing operations in line with sales growth, support applications for regulatory approvals, most notably in the US market, and broaden its product range to address companion diagnostics, antibody screening and disease identification.
James Livingston, Investment Director at Foresight commented: “Biofortuna’s freeze-dried kits are all about making a complex and sophisticated technology simpler and less costly for customers. The technology can be applied to a broad range of significant healthcare markets and we are delighted to be working once again alongside Simon Douglas. Our investment will enable Simon and his impressive management team to achieve the Company’s significant growth plans.”
Simon Douglas, CEO of Biofortuna added: “Having worked with Foresight before I understood their quick decision making process and pragmatic approach, which made for a smooth investment process – enabling us to focus on the business. I look forward to working with them, and alongside my colleagues and our partners, achieving the full potential of Biofortuna.”
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Notes to Editors
About Foresight Group
Foresight is an independent alternative asset manager, which focuses primarily on investments in unquoted UK and European companies or projects and offers investors exclusive access to attractive income and growth opportunities.
Foresight has in excess of £600 million assets under management across a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).
Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprised of eight investment professionals, invests between £1m and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs. The strength and depth of the team has enabled Foresight to lead the consolidation of the VCT sector, taking over the management mandates of established VCTs, such as Advent VCT, Advent 2 VCT, Noble VCT, Keydata Income 1 and 2 VCTs, Acuity Growth VCT and Acuity 3 VCT, from other investment managers.
About Biofortuna Ltd
Biofortuna Ltd, the UK-based molecular diagnostics company, specialises in proprietary freeze-dried HLA diagnostics. Biofortuna have a number of freeze-dried molecular diagnostic products targeted at the transplantation market. It is also developing a portfolio of additional tests with the aim of providing easy-to-use diagnostics that address complex genotyping issues, whilst increasing laboratory productivity and improving quality in clinical testing and patient care.