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Our investment in Biofidelity

1 Mar 2022 By Uzma Choudry

Investment thesis 

  • Innovations in precision medicine are transforming patient care, enabling accurate targeting of treatments to the right patients at the right time. These benefits require the precision testing of patients, but current solutions are complex, slow, have poor sensitivity, and are limited to large centralised laboratories.
  • The in vitro diagnostics (IVD) market is projected to grow to $80-100Bn by 2025. Molecular diagnostics, where Biofidelity fits, accounts for 10% of the IVD market. 
  • Biofidelity has developed ASPYRE, a novel diagnostic technology capable of detecting genomic abnormalities from tissue or blood far faster and more sensitively than existing diagnostic methods. 
  • Currently, DNA sequencing offers the best sensitivity, but it is expensive and complex, costing around £3,000 per test and comprising more than 100 steps. Such tests are only conducted at specialist facilities, and typically take weeks to return results.  
  • Biofidelity’s solution saves time, offering results in as little as 4 hours, and dramatically reduces per-patient cost. The test can be straightforwardly adopted on existing PCR instruments, commonly found in hospital labs around the world. 
  • The company’s go-to-market strategy is to initially sell its assay as a laboratory developed test, offering a fast track to revenue generation, while developing regulatory-approved kits for widespread decentralized use.
  • On the people side, Biofidelity’s team comprises field-leading researchers, complemented by highly accomplished commercial operators which, coupled with the company’s innovations in the space, makes the company an extremely exciting value proposition for stakeholders from across healthcare.

Who are the pioneers

Biofidelity’s CEO, Barnaby Balmforth, brings over a decade’s experience in genomic technology development to the company. With an academic record taking in a Masters from Oxford and a PhD from Cambridge, he’s previously served as COO at Base4, and is co-inventor of the company’s core technology. Biofidelity’s chairman, Dr Heiner Dreismann, was formerly President & CEO of Roche Molecular Systems, where he pioneered market adoption of PCR — diagnostic tech that’s made its way into hospital labs the world over.

His commercial expertise has been honed over years in the space. CCO, Stephen Miller, has a proven track-record over 25 years in high growth diagnostics businesses, while Chief Medical Officer, Wendy Levin MD, is a board-certified oncologist and haematologist with over 15 years’ experience in large and small pharmaceutical companies, including leading international clinical trials. A huge congratulations to the team — we’re thrilled to partner with Biofidelity as they bring their pioneering technology to market.  

Why us

As the biggest health investment team in Europe, we’re experts in health tech. Our focus reaches beyond biotech into complementary areas in digital and consumer health, and our experience working across these fields has equipped us with the insights we need to help Biofidelity’s pioneering proposition reach the widest-possible market.  

Biofidelity will be joining other biotech companies in our portfolio, including Ori Biotech — which we supported from Series A through a successful $100m Series B funding round. We’ll also be supporting the company in its hiring plan with our in-house Talent Team, while our strong networks in the US will help Biofidelity grow over the Atlantic. Biofidelity’s test has the potential to revolutionise cancer diagnostics — and change the lives of millions. We’re incredibly excited to be along for the journey. 

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