Having the right technology at the right time has made Elucigene Diagnostics a world leading developer and distributor of prenatal, rare disease and infertility genetics diagnostics.
The Manchester Science Partnerships-based company has been selected as the winner of the Venture-backed Management Team 2017 award for the Northwest in the prestigious British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) awards. Over the last two years it has seen 30 per cent year on year growth, and 85 percent of its revenue is coming from a growing international customer-base.
Elucigene Diagnostic’s CEO Mark Street-Docherty comments: “The BVCA award is a terrific endorsement of our progress since Percipient Capital’s investment in 2013. Our brand is trusted by a solid customer-base of global clinical laboratories, and as a result we have been able to introduce new products that offer the benefit of the latest technology.”
“Meeting the international quality and regulatory requirements for UK healthcare has positioned us well to penetrate new overseas markets, both within the single market of Europe and beyond to the Middle East, South America, Australia and Canada where regulations present a significant barrier to entry for competitors.”
Genetic tests allow a better understanding of the underlying causes of disease. The recent introduction of new treatments - such as for some types of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) - are driving the rapid growth of this market. Elucigene Diagnostics offers a range of CE IVD accredited products for CF testing, as well as prenatal analysis of common chromosome abnormalities. The tests have been adopted by the international healthcare providers to simplify and improve the accuracy of diagnosis.
The company has deep roots but significant progress has been made since 2013, when a management buy-out by the co-founders and an investment of £1.2M by Percipient Capital coincided with a step-change in genomic technologies. Following the retirement of its founding directors, the current management team was formed to take the company forward. Mark Street-Docherty became CEO, Greg Fitzgibbon Chief Operating Officer and Tony Gee Chief Finance Officer.
The company was nominated for the BVCA award by Joe Pollard of Grant Thornton who comments: “The passion of the Elucigene management team is infectious and their innovative products are truly making a difference in people’s lives all over the world. It is a great business, with a great management team and this award is thoroughly deserved.”
Elucigene has its own research facilities, and is committed to embracing new technology to provide innovative and proven diagnostic solutions. It also collaborates with international commercial partners and research institutes. This has allowed the company to scale up and to adopt a flexible distribution strategy which leverages its strengths and those of its partners.
Elucigene is a growing and cash generating business that has a pipeline of quality products. These include a recently launched test for CF, which can accurately identify rare variants of the gene. New treatments for CF have the ability to cure or significantly improve the quality of life for people with this disease but only for those with the appropriate mutation. The Elucigene tests can support a rapid diagnosis using the latest genomic analysis.
Over the last 18 months Elucigene has invested in state-of-the-art facilities in MSP's Citylabs 1.0, including for scientific design and manufacturing. This capability and proven expertise in gaining accreditation in diverse
territories is attracting new collaborations.
To support third party developers, in November 2016 Elucigene launched its “Product Realisation Service” which provides a ‘get to market’ strategy for innovative products on an equity share or royalty basis. This is a novel business model that builds on the company strengths and offers a diverse revenue stream.
Professor Servaas Morré, director of the Institute for Public Health Genomics at Maastricht University’s, Head of the Laboratory of Immunogenetics VU University Medical Center (VUmc) Amsterdam, and founder of the SME Tubascan Ltd. has been working with Elucigene toward bringing two new personalised medicine approaches into the health care system. He remarks:
“Through our partnership with Elucigene we have been awarded £3.1M via two Eurostars SME grants to bring both a rheumatoid arthritis companion diagnostic and a diagnostic test for triaging female infertility patients from lab to market.
“Elucigene is the perfect partner to move from science to sales. They are research minded and have a great sales network. They are also open to high risk development, such as grants based only on Proof of Concept to bring to market new types of diagnostics. We also really appreciated how reactive and easy to approach they were – projects moved quickly and efficiently with them.”
Street-Docherty comments: “The last couple of years have been spent building our team, developing and gaining accreditation for our product pipeline and strengthening relations with partners and clients. We are now operational in 50 markets and seeing a 30 percent growth. Revenues through repeat business have provided a significant return on the initial investment by Percipient. This award marks the beginning of the next phase of growth, and the indications from the markets are extremely positive,”
Ed Farquhar, non-executive director and Director of Percipient Capital comments: “We are delighted by the progress that Elucigene has made. The management team provide a strong combination of commercial, financial and
technical expertise with insights gained from other industries and geographies. We believe the company has a promising future.”