The University of Birmingham has teamed up with a specialist medical firm to launch a joint venture developing new diagnostics products.

It is working with Oxford-based firm Abingdon Health to create Bioscience Ventures, which will focus on developing new diagnostic tools for conditions where there are currently unmet needs in the market, such as various forms of cancer and genetic diseases.

The new joint venture will be led by executive chairman Dr Chris Hand, a former chief executive of medical diagnostics company Cozart, which he sold for £65 million before forming Abingdon Health. Dr Hand said: “We believe that combining our proven product development and commercialisation expertise with the world-class intellectual property from the University of Birmingham will allow us to bring important new diagnostic products to market.

“There is a clear opportunity to create a new range of diagnostic products from the university’s deep knowledge in this important and growing market.”

Professor Lawrence Young, pro-vice-chancellor and head of college of medical and dental sciences at the University of Birmingham, will become a board director of Biosciences Ventures.

Professor Young, whose own research interests focus on developing gene and immuno-therapy treatments for cancer, said: “The University of Birmingham has been exploring effective ways in which we can unlock the potential of our intellectual property and enhance knowledge transfer activities. This venture is truly exciting, as it brings together two organisations that have a strong track record in the field of medical diagnostics and provides an ideal blend of academic and commercial skill sets.”