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Glasgow spinout raises £2.5m to identify effective antibiotics

Microplate Dx
Microplate Dx founders Dr Poonam Malik and Stuart Hannah

Scottish health tech startup Microplate Dx has secured a £2.5m seed investment round to develop its diagnostic platform for bacterial conditions.

Founded as a spinout from the University of Glasgow, Microplate Dx has built a platform backed by a proprietary data processing algorithm to rapidly test the antibiotic susceptibility of bacterial infections. Doctors can then use that information to identify the most suitable treatments. The spinout has built hardware alongside its proprietary software.

The platform, which is initially targeting urinary tract infections (UTIs), can produce results based on urine samples within an hour, according to the company.

The startup hopes to combat the growing issue of antimicrobial resistance, which occurs when bacteria adapt to fend off drugs used to treat them. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that this represents a major threat to the public and is responsible for more than 1.2 million deaths a year.

“Any delay in identifying the correct antibiotic for treatment can put lives at risks and huge pressure on clinical decision making, especially when the antibiotic sensitivity data that Microplate Dx can produce in an hour or less compared to the current approach that can take two days using existing technique,” said Dr Stuart Hannah, Microplate Dx CEO.

“Early prescribing of appropriate antibiotics to patients, so-called ‘personalised prescribing’, is vital to combat antimicrobial resistance on a global scale, and for serious infections, early intervention will save countless lives.”

The funding round included Deepbridge Capital, the University of Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise, SIS Ventures and Thairm Bio.

As a Boston-based investor, Thairm Bio’s participation in the round is in line with Microplate’s ambition to expand to the US.

Read more: Glagow spinout Chemify raises £33.6m to ‘digitise’ chemistry