Biotech firm receives £2.4m to develop groundbreaking TB test

(L-R): Ray Harris (Foresight); Sandy Reid (Mercia); Jane Theaker (PBD Biotech); Mark Wilcockson (British Business Bank.)

Nottingham-based university spin-out PBD Biotech has raised an additional £2.4m to develop a tuberculosis blood test and support clinical trials which could “revolutionise” management of the disease.

The company secured the funding boost from a consortium led by fund managers Mercia and Foresight Group, the University of Nottingham and private investors.

Clinical trials have shown that PBD’s Actiphage® test is able to diagnose human TB before patients develop symptoms.

The cash injection follows a £2.3m investment in March 2021 which helped the firm validate a test for bovine TB.

Jane Theaker, CEO of PBD Biotech, said: “We are delighted to receive follow-on funding from this supportive group of investors. Since the last round in March 2021, clinical trials have shown that Actiphage could detect non-symptomatic carriers and identify those that would later develop TB. This breakthrough has excited public health professionals worldwide. The follow-on funding will be used to further develop Actiphage to address this global unmet need.”

Mercia’s Sandy Reid said: “While TB is regarded as a disease of the developing world, it is a major burden globally with around 10 million active infections at any one time. PBD’s test not only detects the disease at an early stage, but could also be used to select the correct antibiotic and monitor patients undergoing treatment. The funding will help the company build further evidence of the test’s effectiveness.”

Ray Harris of Foresight added: “We’re delighted to again be supporting PBD as the team work to address one of the world’s most fatal diseases and make breakthroughs in disease prevention and treatment.”

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