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Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’), a leading technology commercialisation and investment group, announces that its portfolio company Abingdon Health (‘Abingdon’) has made an investment and acquired a controlling 80% interest in Forsite Diagnostics (‘Forsite’), a private UK-based contract developer and manufacturer of lateral flow diagnostic products.
Oxford-based Abingdon Health is a business founded and led by Dr Chris Hand, to commercialise a portfolio of novel clinical diagnostics technologies. He is also interim CEO of Innovations portfolio company, Molecular Vision.
The acquisition complements Abingdon's current business, providing it with the manufacturing capability to produce point-of-care diagnostics, including key tests from its own portfolio. In addition, it strengthens the Company's development and sales and marketing capabilities.
Forsite, co-located with Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), at the Sand Hutton Innovation Campus, York, was spun-out from DEFRA in 2007 and has established a strong and diverse customer base, which includes European regulatory authorities, multi-national diagnostic and food companies. The company has invested in creating a state of the art manufacturing facility, which has the capacity to produce many millions of lateral flow tests per annum. FERA will remain a shareholder in Forsite.
Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Innovations, said:
“The acquisition of Forsite gives Abingdon manufacturing capabilities and a strong customer base, enabling them to exploit additional market opportunities. Following its recent £3 million funding round, which Innovations led, we are pleased to see Abingdon moving further towards becoming a truly integrated clinical diagnostics business and strengthening its market position.”
Dr Chris Hand, CEO, Abingdon Health, said:
“Today’s acquisition follows our recent investment in Molecular Vision and creates a focal point for our other activities. It is another important step towards our strategy of creating a fully integrated, medical diagnostics business. Abingdon now has the ability to develop, manufacture and sell a wide spectrum of diagnostic reagents and kits. This includes the synthesis of relevant peptides and production of antibodies as well as integrated medical diagnostic reagent-instrument systems.
“We continue to look for other appropriate opportunities to strengthen our business and provide Abingdon with the critical mass to enable it to exploit opportunities within the US$11.2bn global immunodiagnostics market. We would like to thank our shareholders for supporting this acquisition.”