NE Biotech firm heads to Silicon Valley after being named in top 20 UK ‘HealthTech’ companies
A Tyneside company developing unique mobile devices for use against global disease pandemics will get the chance to impress international investors in Silicon Valley this week, after being singled out as a top 20 UK health technology company, amid fierce competition.
Newcastle-based OJ-Bio Ltd CEO Dale Athey traveled to San Francisco this week as part of Future Health Matters Mission, a competition to identify and support the best fast-growing ‘HealthTech’ technology companies in the UK, focused on e-health & health informatics, personalised medicine, regenerative medicine, assistive technologies, medical technologies and diagnostic technologies.
Organised by market intelligence software company Polecat in collaboration with the Technology Strategy Board, 20 leading technology companies were selected for the Mission, which, taking place from January 8 – 14th, and aligned with JP Healthcare Conference, aims to provide companies with opportunities for growth with key investors, potential partners and customers, media and other stakeholders from around the globe, in Silicon Valley.
The Future Health Mission 11 competition launched at the Technology Strategy Board’s annual Innovation Conference, innovate10, in London on Tuesday 12 October. A short and simple online application process then followed which closed on Friday 19th of November. Applicants were judged on their business viability, the strength of their management team, their ability to do meaningful business in the US, and their ability to develop sustainable transatlantic relationships.
OJ-Bio Ltd develops handheld wireless diagnostic units and biochips for rapid on-the-spot detection of diseases using bodily fluids such as blood, urine and saliva.
Based at the Centre for Life, the firm was founded in November 2009 as a joint venture between Newcastle-based nanotechnology company Orla Protein Technologies and Japanese electronics giant Japan Radio Company Ltd (JRC).
It was set up to create new disease-detecting devices using the combined strength of its founders’ biomedical and electronic manufacturing expertise.
The devices being developed by OJ-Bio are aimed at ‘next-generation’ of diagnostics which will enable simple rapid detection of protein markers of disease, viruses and bacteria. Since 2009, OJ-Bio has been awarded over £300K of funding support by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) which has enabled the company to make major inroads in the application of the new technology to aid the detection and eradication of global disease pandemics like flu, Tuberculosis (TB), and wide-spread sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like Chlamydia.
Dale Athey, Managing Director at OJ-Bio Ltd, said: “There is a clear need for improved methods for easy, rapid, cost effective detection and identification of infectious diseases. OJ-Bio is developing a range of wireless rapid wireless diagnostic biosensor products to meet this need.
“It is a great honour to have been named as one of the top 20 health technology companies in the UK, and to be invited to attend this event, which will provide us with a fantastic platform to talk about this exciting technology, and the progress we have made over the last 14 months.
“Our devices seek to overcome current shortcomings in the market for the rapid detection of infectious agents, offering faster decision making, faster intervention and reduction in spread of infection, and I look forward to presenting our work to investors from across the world at this prestigious event.”