Atlas Genetics snags $27.3M in Series B

Atlas Genetics has raised £16.9 million ($27.3 million) from new and existing investors led by Novartis Venture Funds and Consort Medical. The new investors in this Series B financing are Novartis Venture Funds, Life Sciences Partners, BB Biotech Ventures and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation.

The investment, which will be drawn down over three years, will be used to accelerate the global launch of the Velox point-of-care products for chlamydia and gonorrhea. It will also be used for the development of other infectious disease tests and expand the immunoassay capability of the Velox system.

The Velox platform will make it possible to carry out infectious disease tests that are as accurate as those performed in hospital laboratories, according to an Atlas statement. Clinicians will be able to start treatment promptly and ensure improved compliance, particularly in the area of sexually transmitted diseases. A significant proportion of patients with STDs fail to return for test results or follow-up treatment.

"We are delighted to be joined by a new consortium as co-investors in Atlas," Consort Medical CEO Jon Glenn says in a statement. "The investment will de-risk Atlas by providing sufficient funds to develop the core technology, invest in capital equipment, undertake clinical studies and broaden the range of tests available."

And Florent Gros, managing director, Novartis Venture Funds, expressed similar enthusiasm. "We have searched hard and long for novel molecular diagnostic technologies and the Velox platform is a very ingenious solution to the key issues that have hindered the development of ultra rapid and highly sensitive point-of-care molecular diagnostic instrumentation. Combined with the ability to make immunoassay tests this makes for a diversified all-in-one diagnostic platform that will be commercialized around the end of 2012."

- get the Atlas Genetics release
- see the Consort Medical release

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