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Biofortuna, the Wirral-based diagnostics company, is expanding its custom service has secured a £1.3m investment to expand its business.

The funding round was supported by all current investors – Enterprise Ventures, the Foresight Group (UK), Catapult Venture Managers, Merseyside Special Investment Fund, private investors and management. The new funds will enable the business to expand its freeze drying and manufacturing capability to support both its custom service clients and the USA launch of its SSPGo HLA range of products.

Biofortuna has developed a unique method to stabilise molecular diagnostic products using its proprietary freeze-dried technology. Current tests are stored and transported frozen and must then be carefully thawed and mixed prior to the addition of the patient’s DNA. Biofortuna’s unique stabilization approach means that all reagents are premixed and freeze dried so that the end user is only required to add the DNA sample. This makes the test quick and easy whilst reducing cost and manual errors. Kits can also be stored and transported at ambient temperature, eliminating the need for fridges, freezers and temperature controlled shipping.

The company is offering its technology, together with its design, development and manufacturing capability, on a custom service basis to clients who want to convert kits to a stabilised format. Biofortuna also has its own range of stabilised products, SSPGoTM, and has partnered with Abbott Molecular as a global exclusive distributor for these kits.

Dr Simon Douglas, CEO of Biofortuna added: “This investment will enable Biofortuna to grow its freeze dried development and manufacturing capacity. With an increasing number of companies coming to us to stabilise their products we need to expand our freeze drying capability to complement our already established diagnostic development expertise. I am delighted that Biofortuna has received continued support from its current investors who share the enthusiasm and vision of the management team”.

Julian Viggars of Enterprise Ventures, which first invested in Biofortuna on its launch in 2008, said: “Biofortuna’s technology helps increase laboratory productivity and improve quality in clinical testing and patient care. This latest investment will help it meet growing demand and strengthen its presence in the US market.”