Norwich company behind rapid Covid test secures £2m funding boost

Rob Field of Iceni Diagnostics, Norwich.

Rob Field of Iceni Diagnostics, Norwich. - Credit: Si Barber

The Norwich-based producer of a rapid result coronavirus test has secured £2m in investment to continue its work.

Iceni Diagnostics, which is producing a test which can determine if somebody has Covid-19 within 15 minutes, has received commitments from 35 different investors, which will pump £2m into its coffers in 2021.

The investment means the company, which is based at the Norwich Research Park, will be able to play a central role in the fight against Covid-19 on both sides of the Atlantic.

And the boost comes as it awaits imminent results from its latest trials. 

Iceni Diagnostics products.Picture: Si Barber

Iceni Diagnostics products. - Credit: Si Barber

Rob Field, co-founder of Iceni Diagnostics, said: "There is a vast, global potential in the application of our unique technology.

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"We are using it to tackle Covid now, but it will also produce better vaccines and new diagnostic and therapeutic products in the future.

"The investment we have secured will enable us to attract new talent to the team at Iceni and maximise the significant opportunities we have in our pipeline."

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The rapid test being produced at the centre not only can tell whether somebody has Covid-19, but also determines whether they are infectious and distinguishes between the virus and influenza.

Making Covid-19 tests at Iceni Diagnostics. Picture: Si Barber

Making Covid-19 tests at Iceni Diagnostics.  - Credit: Si Barber

Berwyn Clarke, chairman of Iceni Diagnostics, said: "There is a great investment opportunity here with very strong potential returns.

"We are matching a unique proprietary  technology with massive unmet need in markets around the globe."

The 'rapid duplex test' is undergoing trials, including at the laboratories at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Among the parties investing in the company is New Anglia Capital and members of the Anglia Capital Group, which has already pumped £250,000 into Iceni since 2018 through match-funding.

Andrea Finegan, director of Anglia Capital Group, said: "This was an opportunity to invest in a company with real potential to grow and to make an impact on therapeutics and diagnostics for a series of infectious diseases."

The company is also in advanced discussions with both public sector and commercial buyers, both domestically and in the United States, with the new investment also ensuring it can create new job vacancies next year.

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