Praetura Ventures leads £2.9m investment in food allergy diagnostic firm

Dr Paul Abrahams, CEO of Reacta

Praetura Ventures, the Manchester-based VC firm, has led a £2.9m funding round to support a business that is on course to transform the food allergy diagnostics market.

Reacta Biotech (Reacta), which is based in Deeside, North Wales, produces clinical diagnostics kits for food allergy testing.

The business improves the efficiency, accuracy and safety of food allergy testing by producing pharmaceutical grade Oral Food Challenges (OFCs), the gold standard test for diagnosing food allergies.

In the latest funding round, £1.5m came from Praetura Ventures, the venture capital fund manager that targets early-stage businesses in high-growth sectors.

Having made an initial seed investment in 2019, the Development Bank of Wales will invest a further £1m in equity funding.

Other investors in the funding round include venture capitalist Jon Moulton’s family office, Perscitus and  Reacta’s management team.

The transaction was brokered by Reacta’s long-term advisers, Acceleris Capital, who have previously raised £4m for the company since it was founded.

The business will use the funding to scale up the manufacture of its current product range including peanut, egg and milk OFCs and to extend its product portfolio.

Dr Paul Abrahams, CEO of Reacta, said: “It’s been a landmark year for Reacta, and we continue to go from strength-to-strength as a business, developing new diagnostic products and expanding our capabilities.

“The number of people experiencing food allergies is increasing, so it’s vital that technologies to accurately and safely test for allergies are developed.

“We’re committed to providing excellence in the development of a suite of OFC products, and revolutionising the way food allergies are diagnosed worldwide.”

Praetura Ventures has previously invested in healthcare businesses including innovative drug ‘switching’ company Maxwellia, Dr Fertility and Ostara Biomedical.

The firm recently appointed four industry heavyweights as operational partners to bring significant experience to support the founders.

“The firm’s investment in Reacta was led by investment director Louise Chapman and director Dr Andy Round.

Dr Andy Round added: “It’s great to be backing a business which is on track to have a significant and positive impact on society as well as returning significant funds for our investors.

“We look forward to supporting the team on the clinical contacts and customer side, as well as working with them on the strategy and marketing.”

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