A SCOTTISH medical diagnostics business has secured £1.5 million of new investment following the completion of a second fundraising round.

Led by the investment syndicate Kelvin Capital, and with Scottish Investment Bank participation, the oversubscribed funding round will support the continued commercial development of Biotangents’ diagnostic platform technology which is used to quickly detect infectious diseases of livestock.

The funding will be used to launch their initial products, developed in-house, into the market.

The technology provides vets with the ability to diagnose potentially fatal diseases in cattle – on-site and within the same day – allowing farmers to isolate an infected animal quickly and limit spread within the herd. Traditional processes involve off-site lab testing which can take up to seven days for results to come in, significantly increasing the risk of other animals becoming infected.

The Kelvin Capital syndicate, is led by directors John McNicol and Angus Hay, and represents private investors in the UK, Europe and the US.

Alan Hale, chief executive at Biotangents, said: “The global medical diagnostics market is vast and presents a range of opportunities for us to become a global leader in the engineering of biology to produce fast, sensitive, reliable and easy-to-use diagnostic products.

“We already know that our diagnostic platform technology can have a real impact on identifying infectious diseases, quickly, in animals and that our patent-pending design can be adapted for use in many other products and applications.

He continued: “Our focus right now is on addressing the diagnostics of Bovine viral diarrhoea – a highly contagious viral disease of cattle. The financial costs alone of failing to diagnose that disease early can cost farmers up to £470 per animal, and it is responsible for £61 million of losses each year in the UK alone. If we can successfully roll out our test internationally then we can realise an enormous market opportunity.”

Biotangents is based at the Pentlands Science Park just outside Edinburgh. The firm was founded in 2015 to apply the expertise they had developed in gene technologies to improving the sustainability of traditional industries.

This led them to invent (patent pending) Moduleic Sensing™, a versatile diagnostic technology that has the potential to be used across multiple sectors including human healthcare and environmental monitoring.

They began working with Kelvin Capital in 2017 and raised over £1m of seed funding made up by investment and grants.

John McNicol, director of Kelvin Capital said: “The diagnostics market for livestock infectious diseases is growing due to increasing awareness of the impact that disease outbreaks can have on food security and public health.

“We need only look back to the £8 billion cost of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak to highlight the enormous cost that infectious diseases can have.

“We invested in Biotangents in its first round of funding in 2017 and we are delighted to continue to back the business with a further syndicate investment.

He added: “It is a business that is not only bringing rapid improvements to livestock care leading to public health improvements but it is also disrupting a traditional industry with its advanced technology which is very exciting.”