Calculus Capital invests in Arcis Biotechnology

shutterstock_112905406Calculus Capital announces today that it has invested £1.25m in Arcis. This investment is part of a larger fundraising of £1.7m and follows previous investments in Arcis totalling £2m made in May 2012 and June 2013.

Based in Cheshire, Arcis develops patented compounds and technologies. It then commercialises these novel technologies and application methods to licence to commercial partners to register, manufacture and distribute the products.

The funds raised will be used to develop the business in two areas with considerable potential: DNA extraction (BioApps) and nematicide products (Agriculture).

BioApps provides DNA extraction products, used for molecular diagnostics. The Company differentiates itself with the simple and time-effective one-step process nature of its enabling front-end technology. The ability to release (lyse) DNA and to stabilise it for onward PCR analysis is a novel and potentially lucrative development that could transform the molecular diagnostics market. In addition, Arcis has a licence agreement with EKF Diagnostics to jointly commercialise the product globally. EKF is a worldwide diagnostics company focusing on point of care equipment. Its molecular diagnostics division has recently acquired several gene detection technologies to strengthen its suite of products in companion diagnostics and personalised medicine.

The second area of development is agriculture products. The Company has developed nematicides, pesticides used to kill nematodes, which are microscopic worms that attack root systems of plants causing poor growth and reduction in crop yields. Arcis’s nematicide trials show its product has good efficacy with considerable yield improvement for farmers and a much lower environmental impact than current nematicide products. This area presents huge potential for growth, especially since many players have had a product withdrawn for not being environmentally-friendly. The Company markets its products globally, via a number of partners which distribute them. Arcis has recently signed a distribution agreement with Amgrow, a well-known and long standing AgriChem business that sells into over 50% of all golf courses in Australia. Amgrow will take the Arcis product through regulations as a turf and crop nematicide.

Arcis is headed by new Executive Chairman Geoff Vinall, an experienced CEO & qualified Executive Director with a track record in business acquisition, turnaround, growth and sales with particular focus on DNA, Forensics and Support Services companies. Geoff is supported by Peter Whitehurst, CEO, previously a key member of the SSL International executive team prior to its sale to Reckitt Benckiser for £2.54bn in 2010, and Steve O’Hara, a senior executive with previous roles in the NHS and as Director of MicroBiology for 3M, soon to be MD of the BioApps division.

Alexandra Lindsay, Investment Director at Calculus Capital, said: “We are very excited to further invest in Arcis and to support the Company in its latest stage of expansion development and commercialisation.”

Geoff Vinall, Executive Chairman, Arcis, said: “Calculus Capital’s latest investment will help us develop and commercialise products in two new exciting areas which offer huge potential for growth, DNA extraction (BioApps) and agriculture products. We are looking forward to working with Calculus Capital to further expand Arcis and to achieve our new potential.”