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University of Birmingham spinout secures new funding

Linear Diagnostics will use capital injection to develop a product that can rapidly detect infections and resistance to antibiotics

University of Birmingham spinout Linear Diagnostics has secured £300,000 funding

A tech company which has developed a product that can rapidly detect the presence of bacterial infection and identify the risk of resistance to antibiotics has secured £300,000 in new funding.

Linear Diagnostics, which is a spinout company from the University of Birmingham, will use the funding to develop its platform technology into a handheld device.

It will aim to detect bacterial infections and identify what level of resistance they have to the most commonly prescribed antibiotics without the need for laboratory facilities.

The device will provide a readout within minutes of sampling.

The first application will be a device for the detection of urinary tract infections and it is envisaged it will be used in both primary and secondary care where it will help to restrict inappropriate prescriptions and contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Although the technology will initially be developed for the medical sector, it can be used to address issues in the agriculture, veterinary and defence sectors.

The new capital comes from the Rainbow Seed Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on building UK technology companies.

The investment was match-funded with an award from the University of Birmingham's Spinout Investment fund.

Matt Hicks, chief technology officer and founder of Linear Diagnostics, said: "The investment comes at a crucial point for the company.

"We have achieved proof of concept and now have partnerships in place that will steer rapid development in an area of high unmet need which also has a high volume of tests."

Oliver Sexton, investment director for the Rainbow Seed Fund, said: "Antimicrobial resistance is a global health concern and there is a clear need for new strategies to tackle it.

"Rapid diagnosis can both curtail the ineffective antibiotic prescribing that fuels antimicrobial resistance and identify the appropriate course of treatment for the individual patient."

James Wilkie, director of enterprise and innovation at the university, said: "We have been impressed by the flexibility of the technology.

"In particular, the test is both qualitative and quantitative which significantly increases the scope of its potential applications."

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