Lumora announces key licensing deal with French diagnostics company bioMrieux


Lumora, a Cambridge-based 'molecular diagnostics' company, today announced the signing of a key licensing deal with the global diagnostics company bioMrieux, based in Lyon, France. This deal allows Lumora to combine its unique luminescent technology with a DNA amplification detection technology from bioMrieux.

Specifically, Lumora can now develop low-cost, yet highly sensitive and specific molecular tests to detect dangerous food pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli O157 and Listeria. Currently such tests can only be performed in specialist laboratories. Lumora's tests will be rapid (minutes) and simple enough to be incorporated into on-site portable devices and for the results to be interpreted even by non-specialists. This has significant implications for improved food safety.

Furthermore, the deal signed with bioMrieux means Lumora can develop diagnostic products directed at all aspects of the food chain, not just detection of food pathogens. As such, the technology being developed by Lumora can indicate for example:

  • whether the food contains genetically modified material

  • from which company the genetically modified material originated from

  • whether a bottle of olive oil comes from Greece or Spain

  • whether the barley purchased at great expense is really fit for brewing or only fit for animal feed!

    Such information is good for the consumer, the food industry and regulators alike.

    'The combination of Lumora's technology with the bioMrieux amplification technology can bring the benefits of molecular diagnostics to many more users', says Lumora's CEO and Founder, Dr Laurence Tisi.

    'Presently food safety and quality tests require laboratories with skilled personnel or technicians. Our technology can be taken out of the laboratory to where the diagnostic results really need to be, whether it's a food processing plant, a farmer's field or your local supermarket!'

    Geraldine Rodgers of Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds said 'we are very excited that Lumora have obtained this important licence. It represents a significant step in progressing Lumora's food testing programmes.'

    Lumora Ltd was founded in 2003 by Dr Laurence Tisi and Professor Jim Murray as a spin-out from the University of Cambridge's Institute of Biotechnology. Lumora has developed a novel technology that means any specific DNA sequence can be detected by recording light coming from a proprietary version of luciferase- the enzyme that makes fireflies and glow-worms light up.

    Uniquely, the light is produced in real-time as the DNA is detected, making the test very rapid, easy to use and easy to build into a hand-held device.

    Lumora has expertise in developing tests for medical diagnostics, drug development and defence applications utilising the bioluminescence of firefly luciferase. Lumora is funded by the Cambridge Challenge Fund and a consortium of private EU investors. Further investments and/or collaborations are being sought to bring specific products to market.

    The Cambridge Challenge Fund, is one of the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds. Cambridge Enterprise facilitates the commercial development of intellectual property (IP) developed at the University of Cambridge and the provision of consultancy services by academics.

    Cambridge Enterprise is one of the United Kingdom's leading knowledge transfer offices providing consultancy and licensing patents and other IP to existing companies, both large and small as well as to spinouts formed to exploit University technology. For the academic year ending 2005, 40 licences were entered into and income from licensing exceeded 2.7 million. Additionally consultancy agreements generated 1.5 million.

    Lumora announces key licensing deal with French diagnostics company bioMrieuxWorking together with angels, venture capital funds, University staff and students, Cambridge Enterprise facilitates the formation of around thirty new companies each year (about five of which are based on University-owned intellectual property).

    Further information on Cambridge Enterprise can be found at:


    For further information, please contact:

    Laurence Tisi PhD, Acting CEO, Lumora Ltd, +44 1223 334016


    Shirley Jamieson, Head of External Relations, Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge. Tel: +44 (0) 1223 760 339
  • To read more information, click here.

    Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.

    Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge