The capital injection will help accelerate the Cambridge-based company’s entry into the clinical molecular diagnostic market.
Catapult has invested just over £1 million from its Catapult Growth Fund, with the rest of the funding coming from a follow-on investment from Lumora’s major shareholder Tate & Lyle Ventures.
Lumora has been developing next generation tests through a technology that causes a sample to emit light when a test result is positive.
David Atkinson, managing partner of Tate & Lyle Ventures, says, ‘Having successfully developed the technology for use in the food sector, Lumora has identified a number of exciting opportunities in the larger clinical market and now has the financial resources to help it deliver in these areas.’
The company is developing an integrated testing station for gastrointestinal infections and an HIV viral load monitoring system to support drug therapy in the developing world.
Lumora’s platform for molecular diagnostics is based on signalling chemistry, allowing tests to be performed at a single temperature, thereby reducing the costs associated with optics.
Company CEO Laurence Tisi explains, ‘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.’
He reveals that Lumora is already collaborating with a not-for-profit organisation in the field of HIV viral load monitoring.
Ed Wass, Catapult investment director, also announced the appointment of Jim Reid as a non-executive director to the board.
He says that Reid has a ‘strong track record’ in the molecular diagnostic sector, having worked for Roche and Chiron.
Catapult has £80 million in funds under its management and seeks equity investment opportunities from £200,000 to £2 million in growing companies.