Lab901 raises 3.5m to develop electrophoresis arm

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Molecular biology

Lab901 has raised £3.5m in funding, which will go towards expanding
its sales efforts and new products for RNA and Protein
Electrophoresis - a market that is currently worth $1.3bn worldwide
and expected to increase to over $1.6bn.

The money raised from this latest equity funding round is expected to build on the company's D800 ScreenTape, a system designed for DNA analysis that is the first product from a pipeline of consumables that will be run on the company's TapeStation instrument. ​ "We are now well placed to take advantage of the large existing markets for RNA quality control and protein electrophoresis as well as developing markets for multiplex PCR diagnostics​," said Richard Rowling, Lab901's Sales & Marketing Director. "We are forming strong commercial relationships with development partners and re-sellers that will take Lab901 to the next level of growth and expansion​," he added. Scotland-based Lab901 are one of a number of companies that have enjoyed success in both Europe and Asia as these continents have warmly received new DNA analysis products that further aid laboratory research. Growth of the RNA and protein electrophoresis market has been attributed to the demonstration of superior separation efficiency along with full automation, ease of miniaturisation and on-line detection capabilities. According to BCC Research, this has enabled electrophoresis to carve a niche in the separation technology market. In addition, the emergence of highly sensitive laser-induced fluorescent detection method has spurred new applications for this technique. Commenting on the fundraising, Joel Fearnley, CEO and co-founder of Lab901, said: "The latest round of funding will help us build on the sales of these first DNA analysis products and continue the development of our pipeline products​." When launched the company's ScreenTape system was the first fully automated, walk-away solution for gel electrophoresis, incorporating a pre-cast, pre-packaged gel and running buffer along with specialised software. With no gel or buffer preparation and no system priming, even untrained operators could rapidly generate accurate and reproducible data that enabled a rapid analysis of biological samples. Typical applications include genotyping of DNA, multiplex PCR analysis, quality control of RNA samples and SDS-PAGE analysis of proteins during protein expression/purification experiments. Founded in 2002 and is based in Edinburgh, UK, Lab901 has developed into a producer of innovative laboratory automation products, including instrumentation and consumable devices, for the global life science sector. These products allow scientists to increase efficiency and productivity within research and drug discovery and result in accelerated development of improved diagnostics and therapeutics. This latest financing round consisted of a financing syndicate led by a new investor, Alliance Trust Equity Partners (ATEP), together with existing investors, Scottish Enterprise's Scottish Venture Fund, Archangel Informal Investment Ltd and Noble VCT plc.

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