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Abingdon Health (“Abingdon” or “the company”), the specialist rapid diagnostic technology company, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Serascience Limited and the completion of group fund-raising of £2.1m from current shareholders. The acquisition represents a further development in Abingdon Health’s strategy to create a leading innovative global diagnostic company.

Seralite® – FLC being used with serum samplesSerascience was formed in April 2011 through Abingdon Health’s and the University of Birmingham’s joint venture, Bioscience Ventures Limited (BSVL), which develops early-stage diagnostics opportunities to the point at which they can be licensed, acquired, or sold as a service. Serascience licensed a portfolio of monoclonal antibodies from the University of Birmingham that include those which are specific for aiding the diagnosis of myeloma and related conditions. Its first product to market will be Seralite®, a near-patient diagnostic device for multiple myeloma. The acquisition comes at the point where Serascience is undergoing beta-trials for Seralite® a rapid test for the diagnosis and monitoring of myeloma, and MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance) progression. This market is estimated to be worth over £200m per annum.

This acquisition strengthens Abingdon Health’s position in rapid diagnostic testing. Since Abingdon Health’s formation in 2008, the company has completed a series of selective acquisition and licensing transactions to bring together intellectual property, diagnostic platforms, manufacturing and created a sales and marketing structure. The company continues to look at new opportunities to grow the business and welcomes collaborations with academia and industry.

The investment round gained support from, inter alia, Imperial Innovations, the University of Birmingham and co-founder and CEO Dr Chris Hand.

Dr Chris Hand, Chief Executive Officer of Abingdon Health, commented: ‘The Company has made strong progress in its strategy to create a fully integrated, specialist diagnostics business. The acquisition of Serascience is the latest success in this strategy. Early detection is critical for improved treatment outcomes, there is an increasing demand for fast, accurate diagnostic tests and we are in a strong position to take advantage of the multiple opportunities within the US$11.2bn global immunodiagnostics market. We are delighted to continue to receive support from our shareholders. We are pleased that the University of Birmingham is now a shareholder of Abingdon Health, further strengthening our partnership. The additional investment will be used to continue to expand our development programmes and scale-up of manufacture. I should like to thank our shareholders for their continuing support.’

Dr James Wilkie, CEO of the University of Birmingham’s technology transfer company, Alta Innovations (now known as University of Birmingham Enterprise), and newly appointed director of the board of Abingdon Health, said: ‘The acquisition of Serascience by Abingdon Health is a mark of how far the technology has advanced commercially under Bioscience Ventures’ management. It’s a great example of one of the many contributions the University of Birmingham is making to accelerate the adoption of early-stage medical devices, diagnostics, and therapeutics. We’re delighted to be supporting Abingdon Health on its ongoing journey to tackle the important field of rapid diagnostics, to improve patient care.’