First round funding for bioassay company


Cambridge based bioassay company SmartBead Technologies today announced the completion of their seed funding round raising 1 million of private financing from BankInvest of Denmark.

The funds will be used to develop the first products in a new range of biological assays that will offer flexible, rapid and low cost parallel testing to the genomics, proteomics, drug development and clinical markets. SmartBead Technologies is aiming to produce their first trial system in third quarter next year in collaboration with the manufacturers of reagents for these tests.

SmartBead Technologies' system is based on a library of uniquely coded beads. Biological samples, such as proteins or nucleic acids, can be attached to these beads and used in massively parallel assays in a wide range of applications, including protein arrays, SNPs, and gene expression analysis.

The power of the system lies in its ability to mix thousands of tests together for one sample, at low cost. Researchers and scientists can tailor the panel of tests they want to do for each sample and do thousands at one time, speeding up research in genomics, proteomics and drug development. The bead based system is effectively a three dimensional array, which will complement and perhaps ultimately replace conventional two dimensional arrays.

'SmartBead Technologies' system combines the benefits of massively parallel testing - greater throughput and lower cost - with the opportunity to create bespoke tests for each sample' said Caroline Garey, MD of SmartBead Technologies. 'There are many opportunities for this system, but we will use this funding to concentrate our efforts on a few key applications before spreading out to cover others'.

'We are impressed by the potential of SmartBead Technologies and believe their technology can make considerable inroads into the research and clinical markets' said Prof. Jesper Zeuthen, Managing Director of the BankInvest Group. 'The basic system is very exciting and we are looking forward to the first application specific prototype and commercial partnerships.'

SmartBead Technologies was spun out of the technology development company Sentec Ltd in 2000. With assistance from the Microelectronics Research Centre in the Cavenish Laboratory, Cambridge University, the company has developed a prototype generic system and a considerable IP portfolio based around the coded beads.

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Sentec Ltd a Xylem Brand

Sentec Ltd