Scottish medical diagnostics company completes £1.5m funding round

L to R - John McNicol (Director of Kelvin Capital) with Alan Hale (CEO of Biotangents)
L to R - John McNicol (Director of Kelvin Capital) with Alan Hale (CEO of Biotangents)

Biotangents, a Scottish medical diagnostics business, has secured £1.5m 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 7 days for results to come in, significantly increasing the risk of other animals becoming infected.

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

Alan Hale, CEO 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.

“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 £61m 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.”

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 £8bn 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.  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.”

Scottish Investment Bank Director, Kerry Sharp, commented, “Having supported Biotangents at seed stage in 2017, it’s great to see it securing the funds required to implement its business plan. The company’s innovative technology has the potential to save animal lives and improve livestock welfare.  We look forward to continuing to work with Biotangents to help deliver its growth ambitions.”

Biotangents is based at the Pentlands Science Park just outside Edinburgh.

An existing portfolio company, Kelvin Capital originally worked with the company in 2017 to raise over £1m of seed funding made up by investment and grants.

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