Private equity fund manager and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) specialist Calculus Capital has invested a further £2.5m into diagnostics company Epistem Holdings plc (“Epistem”) via its EIS fund and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) investment vehicles.
Calculus is the cornerstone investor in a £6.5m equity fundraising undertaken by Epistem. Epistem, an AIM-listed molecular diagnostics and biotechnology company, will use the investment to fund its next stage of growth, which includes developing low-cost, rapid and simple to use tests for diagnosing infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV via its Genedrive® platform.
Epistem, which will be renamed Genedrive plc later this month, recently began the launch of its first TB diagnostic test in India, where it is targeting private clinical laboratories which serve patients who cannot access large reference hospitals. It has also reported the successful external assessment of its point of care hepatitis C test.
John Glencross, Chief Executive of Calculus Capital, said: “The recent launch of Epistem’s TB diagnosis system in India, the appointment of a new and extremely experienced CEO, David Budd, and significant advances in the development of point of care Hepatitis C diagnostic systems, are extremely encouraging to us as investors, pointing to important advances in Epistem’s areas of medical diagnostics and a bright future for the business and its investors. Developing countries have a critical need for quick, point of need diagnostics systems for major diseases to enable rapid and appropriate treatment.”
David Budd, Epistem CEO, said: “We have reached an exciting and pivotal stage in our development and, as a highly-respected institutional investor that specialises in backing innovative and exciting UK small and medium-sized companies, Calculus Capital’s funding and broader support put us in a strong position to deliver on Genedrive’s potential and expand its testing capabilities.”