Mercia launches new biotech company

Seed investor The Mercia Fund has spun out a new venture, the Native Antigen Company (NAC), from existing portfolio company PsiOxus Therapeutics.

NAC, which is headquartered in Birmingham with research offices in Oxford, will focus its research on the isolation and purification of both viral and bacterial native antigens that are key components of infectious disease testing kits.

Mercia and a number of unnamed business angels have invested in NAC, which aims to grow the supply of components for the creation of fast and accurate diagnostic kits. Financial details have not been disclosed.

The business had been part of PsiOxus, which was formed in December last year by Mercia following the merger of portfolio companies Hybrid Biosystems and Myotec in a deal that attracted £3.6 million in funding.

Mercia, which provides venture capital for technology start-ups in the West Midlands, was the founding investor in Hybrid and has supported the company since it was spun out from the University of Birmingham.

NAC chief executive Andrew Maxwell says the business is ‘well placed to take a significant part’ of a ‘growing’ market for diagnostic kits, which when accurate and rapid can be critical to a patient’s survival.

Maxwell adds, ‘Accurate identification of an organism is vital to ensure an effective patient treatment regime. Industry has become reliant on recombinant antigens in part, due to perceived costs savings and ease of manufacture. There is a clear gap for an innovative company.’

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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