Sense Biodetection Raises £12.3m to Progress Instrument-Free Molecular Diagnostics

Cambridgeshire, UNITED KINGDOM

Sense Biodetection Raises £12.3m to Progress Instrument-Free Molecular Diagnostics

Initial focus on diagnosing infectious disease through development of machine-free, lab-quality, True Point-of-Careproducts

29 October 2019, Cambridge, UK - Sense Biodetection Limited (Sense) has today announced that it has raised £12.3m to develop its portfolio of instrument-free, point-of-care molecular diagnostic tests, a pioneering new class of diagnostic product.

The company has raised £10.5m Series A investment co-led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Earlybird, with participation from Jonathan Milner and seed round investor Mercia Asset Management. Concurrent with the investment, Sense has also secured a grant of £1.8m from Innovate UK.

The company plans to invest the new funds in the development and manufacture of a range of tests utilising its novel and proprietary rapid molecular amplification technology, targeting in the first instance infectious disease applications such as influenza (flu).

Instrument-free molecular diagnostics represent the ultimate flexible test format as the tests could be deployed in any setting and by a wide range of potential users. This could be transformational for the diagnostic industry, delivering for the first time, true point-of-care testing in a market-successful, single-use product format, allowing diagnostic tests to be readily adopted by new users and scaled to meet demand.   

Sense’s vision is to enable truly decentralised healthcare. The company’s products will allow rapid tests for viral and bacterial pathogens, such as those causing respiratory infections or sexually transmitted diseases, to be performed within minutes in doctors’ offices, pharmacies or community facilities, ensuring more timely treatment and management of infections. The field of molecular diagnostics is currently dominated by machine-based tests, despite the recent launch of near-patient instruments licensed for use outside of a central laboratory. The systems and procedures necessary to operate and maintain machines present barriers to their adoption at the point of care.  In contrast, Sense’s instrument-free products could bring the performance of laboratory machine tests into virtually any setting.    

Sense CEO Harry Lamble commented:

“We are delighted to secure the funding necessary to conduct the formal development of our first products. With the support of an exceptional new investment syndicate, Sense is positioned to become first-in-class and best-in-class in the exciting field of instrument-free molecular diagnostics and to realise our vision to transform healthcare through decentralisation.”

Mike Anstey of CIC commented:

“We’re delighted to co-lead Sense’s Series A financing, enabling this ambitious company to develop its pipeline of transformational products. CIC’s investment strategy is to build high-growth companies with differentiated, innovative technology within the Cambridge ecosystem, and Sense is a great example of this.”

Rainer Christine from the Health Team at Earlybird commented:

“We believe that Sense has created a disruptive solution for true point-of-care molecular diagnostics that will bring machine-free lab-quality results within minutes, and thus health benefits to an unprecedented number of patients. At Earlybird, we continue to be impressed by the founding team's commitment to its overall vision and are very excited to be working together to ultimately improve patient outcomes.”


About Sense: Sense Biodetection Limited is a molecular diagnostics company focused on bringing tests to the True Point-of-CareTM. Sense was founded in 2014 by Harry Lamble and Ralph Lamble, who combined their respective expertise in molecular sciences and medical device design to realise their vision of empowering patients through decentralised testing. Sense is developing a new class of diagnostic product to break down the barriers that have led to the current model of centralised testing. Sense products are simple, ultra-rapid, handheld tests which remove the need for advanced hardware to determine a result. Sense operates from bespoke laboratory, development and manufacturing facilities in Cambridge and Oxford, UK and is growing rapidly as it seeks to take its first product to market.

About Cambridge Innovation Capital plc

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) is a venture capital investor focused on intellectual property rich technology and life science businesses in the Cambridge ecosystem. CIC is committed to building leading businesses from brilliant technologies. It combines a unique relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links to enable visionaries to build global, category-leading companies.

For more information please visit or follow us on Twitter at @CIC_vc

Cambridge Innovation Capital Manager Limited (FRN: 913528) is an appointed representative of Duff & Phelps Securities Limited (FRN: 466588) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

About Earlybird

Earlybird is a venture capital investor focused on European technology companies. Founded in 1997, Earlybird invests in all growth and development phases of a company. Amongst the most experienced venture investors in Europe, Earlybird offers its portfolio companies not only financial resources, but also strategic and operational support as well as access to an international network and capital markets. Earlybird manages different funds with focuses on digital technologies in Eastern and Western Europe as well as a healthcare focused fund. With over EUR 1 billion under management, seven IPOs and 23 trade sales, Earlybird is one of the most successful venture capital firms in Europe.

For more information please contact:

Cambridge Innovation Capital                                                   +44 (0)1223 764875

Michael Anstey, Partner

Michelle Lamprecht, Head of Marketing