Fungal entrepreneurs go for growth

University of Manchester spin-out Myconostica has secured £3.9m funding from Amphion Innovations.

Myconostica is developing a series of real-time molecular diagnostic tests for life-threatening fungal infections. More than ten million people in the UK and North America are at risk from these infections each year.

The company’s simple tests can detect multiple fungi in a single process, allowing faster and more precise diagnosis.

The capital injection will support the launch and marketing of Myconostica’s first products, which include a real-time molecular test for Aspergillus and Pneumocystix, and the development of further tests targeting other critical infections.

“There’s a growing need for diagnosis of these infections, which generally occur in immuno-compromised patients,” said Amphion Partners managing director and Myconostica chief executive Jerel Whittingham (pictured). “There are increasing numbers of these patients as cures for other diseases improve.

“There’s an enormous amount of M&A activity in the diagnostics market at present, particularly in the area of infectious diseases, where large companies want to acquire content for their point of care devices,” added Whittingham, who believes an exit of some sort for investors may occur in late 2009.

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