Sign In

Search Press
Looking for press releases of a particular company? Enter company name (or keyword) here.


New venture receives investment from the Mercia Fund and business angels

February 2011

New venture receives investment from the Mercia Fund and business angels to accelerate growth in the supply of components to the in-vitro diagnostic industry

The Native Antigen Company (NAC; has been formed following a spin out from PsiOxus (formerly Hybrid BioSystems). NAC, headquartered in Birmingham with research offices in Oxford, has its expertise in the isolation and purification of both viral and bacterial native antigens. These antigens serve as key components of infectious disease testing kits (a growing market estimated to be worth up to £100m); their function being to accurately detect pathogenic infection by capturing antibodies in patient samples.

With their proprietary approach developed over many years of research at Hybrid BioSystems, NAC is well placed to take a significant part of a growing need for diagnostic kit producers to purify and supply challenging components which result in enhanced assay performance. This is best illustrated in the immune-compromised patient where an accurate and rapid diagnosis of respiratory or gastric pathogens can be critical to patient survival.

Andrew Maxwell CEO said

“Most antigens used in current diagnostic kits are not native and can thus lack the specificity and sensitivity which we offer with our native antigens. Accurate identification of an organism is vital to ensure an effective patient treatment regime. Industry has become reliant on recombinant antigens in part, due to perceived costs savings and ease of manufacture. There is a clear gap for an innovative company which can focus its expertise in the isolation and purification of native antigens and is prepared to work closely with the kit manufacturers to provide tailored, cost effective solutions. This is reflected in the strong market appetite to evaluate our approach.”

Mark Payton, CEO Mercia Fund Management, commented 

'NAC has a tremendous opportunity to improve the performance of diagnostic kits with the supply of native antigen kit components. The business has a strong team and a set of supportive investors that truly understand the industry and market opportunity. We look forward to the continued growth of this business'

- ends -

Editors Notes:

About the Mercia Fund

The Mercia Fund (Fund) is focused on supporting leading technologies with global potential in Healthcare (particularly MedTech), telecoms, ITC and Clean Technologies. The Fund provides venture capital for early-stage technology start-ups that are based in the West Midlands region and that have achieved proof of principle. Potential investees must demonstrate their potential for rapid growth and will possess a strong proprietary position with respect to their technology, intellectual property, and products.

The Fund is managed by Mercia Fund Management, based at its central Birmingham offices. Mercia Fund Management is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and is a member of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA).

For further information please contact:

Dr Mark Payton
Tel: 07811 435199 / 0121 236 8855

About The Native Antigen Company, Ltd.

The Native Antigen Company (NAC) specialises in the purification of Native Viral and Bacterial Antigens for the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturer. NAC has the scope to produce almost any Native Antigen, from low volumes to bulk. In addition, NAC offers an Adenovirus purification and production capability and a screening service for anti-cancer drug compounds

Andrew Maxwell is the CEO of NAC. Mr Maxwell was previously Managing Director at Lab21 and prior to this held global responsibility at Genetix plc for its reagent and microarray divisions. Professor Geoffrey Hale, CEO of BioAnalab, which was acquired by Millipore in 2009, will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The shareholders of NAC include Management, Mercia Fund, Cancer Research Technology and the University of Birmingham.

For more information please visit

Publisher Contact Information:

Mercia Fund
+44 7811 435199

Company profile of The Native Antigen Company (NAC)
Past press releases of The Native Antigen Company (NAC).


Tech investments
From our Online Data Service
VC-backed companies
From our Radar

Recent Deals

May 18N/ABusiness applications
May 18€1.3MKnowledge management
May 18€9.1MInternet services
May 18€18.0MContent management
May 18€0.4MOther Computers & Electronics
May 18€0.2MInternet services
May 17€0.3MEnergy related

For information on Europe's most extensive database on technology funding click here!


Press Releases

Mar 29
Addex Therapeutics
addex sucessfully raises chf40 million in capital increase

Jan 2
Urban Jungle
urban jungle raises £1m in seed funding to build tech-enabled home ...

Aug 17
Komed Health
komed health closes seed financing round

Jul 10
Komed Health
komed health to be supported by nokia and deutsche telekom

May 4
Vivet Therapeutics
vivet therapeutics raises €37.5 million in series a

About usContact usLegal Information
Copyright © 1999-2018
Emerging Technology Research Europe Inc. All rights reserved.