MIP Diagnostics, a Leicester-based life sciences start-up that develops ‘plastic antibodies’ has received £300,000 of follow-on funding from Mercia Fund Management for working capital growth.
Mercia first invested in MIP Diagnostics, a spin-out from the University of Leicester, in March 2015.
MIP Diagnostic’s technology provides Molecular Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) to the diagnostic, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical research industries. MIPs mimic biological antibodies, but as they are not biologically derived, they are non-biodegradable and are more stable. They are also more cost effective, quicker to manufacture and more robust, offering a much longer shelf-life.
Because MIPs can take days to make as opposed to months, they are increasingly being seen as an alternative to antibodies, offering the potential to compete in similar markets on an international scale.
The research reagent market is now estimated to be worth $2.7bn with the research antibody market estimated to be worth $900m, according to Pivotal Scientific, which proves there is a significant opportunity for this company to scale.
MIP Diagnostics has appointed Jim Reid as chair. Reid has extensive experience in the diagnostics marketplace and is world-renowned in the life sciences sector. He was the winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Science and Technology for both Scotland and the UK in 2005, and he has previously worked for blue-chip organisations including Organon, Roche and Trinity Biotech.
Chief executiv of MIP Diagnostics, Dr Adrian Kinkaid, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jim to the MIP Diagnostics team. He has already made significant contributions to our development and his experience in the Diagnostics field is invaluable. The ongoing support from Mercia is especially appreciated as we bring our novel MIPs platform to a wide range of markets.”