£1.6m raised for rapid diagnostic test R&D

Fuse Diagnostics has completed an oversubscribed seed investment round – raising a total of £1.6 million from a syndicate of angel investors and innovation agency Innovate UK.

The funding will boost the company’s development of a revolutionary new generation of diagnostic testing products, designed to deliver the performance of laboratory-based instruments in rapid, low-cost, point-of-need tests.

The products will address testing needs in the industrial, food and water sectors – where eliminating pathogen contamination is crucial – as well as providing accurate point-of-need testing for clinical diagnostics and veterinary applications.

Fuse CEO Dr Harry Lamble said: “We are bringing gold standard laboratory performance into small, low-cost, disposable tests that anyone can use – with results in under 10 minutes, thanks to our proprietary ultra-rapid amplification chemistries.

The simple product format enables users to test on demand in any location – all they have to do is apply the sample and wait for the clear visual result.”

Fuse is developing two diagnostic testing platforms. Products in the Flip range will be targeted at industrial, food and water testing, as well as the bioprocessing industry and cell biology research – to test for mycoplasma contamination of mammalian cell culture, for example.

The Apex range is aimed at more advanced industrial testing, together with veterinary applications and clinical diagnostics, such as tests for respiratory or sexually transmitted infections.

Fuse is the brainchild of the founders of Sense Biodetection – Harry and Ralph Lamble – who developed the world’s first rapid instrument-free, molecular diagnostic test (Veros COVID-19) during the pandemic.

Following the acquisition of Sense by Sherlock Biosciences last year, the brothers decided to apply their experience of clinical product development and commercialisation to address the widespread demand for rapid onsite pathogen testing across industry.

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