T cell diagnostics company secures European diagnostics sector's largest funding round since 2006*
Oxford, UK; 29th October 2007 - Oxford Immunotec Ltd., the fully integrated T cell diagnostics company, announced today that it has closed a financing round of US$40M. The funding marks the largest financing round for a diagnostics company in Europe in the past two years. It was co-led by new investors Clarus Ventures and Wellington Partners with Kuwait-based National Technology Enterprises Company also joining as a new investor. The company's current institutional investors, the Prelude Trust, Quester and the Dow Chemical Company also continued to support the company in this, its third financing round.
Oxford Immunotec will be using the funding to prepare for market launch in the US, the world's largest diagnostics market, for its lead product, T-SPOT®.TB, a highly sensitive and specific blood test for tuberculosis. The product is already marketed directly and via distributors in Europe, Canada and more than 40 other countries worldwide.
Dr. Peter Wrighton-Smith, CEO of Oxford Immunotec, said, "We are proud to have attracted such a high-caliber consortium of investors who all share our vision of effectively fighting against the global resurgence of tuberculosis. By securing this significant funding, we are fully prepared for approval and market launch of T-SPOT.TB in the United States."
Dr. Michael Steinmetz, Managing Director of Clarus Ventures, commented: "With T-SPOT.TB, Oxford Immunotec addresses a significant unmet medical need. Tuberculosis causes nearly two million deaths each year and one third of the world's population is infected with this disease. Unlike traditional diagnostic tests, T-SPOT.TB gives a true indication of whether an individual is infected with tuberculosis - making it a much more accurate and effective tool in fighting this global health threat."
The worldwide TB diagnostics market is constantly growing and currently totals some US$ 900 million (2006), with the diagnosis of latent TB infection in industrialized countries today accounting for approximately US$240M. Screening for TB infection is one of the key elements in controlling the global resurgence of TB; more than 30 million TB screening tests are given each year in the developed world.
Dr. Rainer Strohmenger, a General Partner at Wellington Partners, added, "What prompted us to invest in Oxford Immunotec is the company's revolutionary technology platform, T-SPOT, which offers huge application potential. It currently provides the most sensitive and specific method for diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection. However we also foresee potential applications in the diagnosis of chronic infections other than tuberculosis and in any quantitative measurement of specific T-cell activation, where Oxford Immunotec has a strong IP position."
*According to figures from the Dow Jones VentureSource database