How protein science can help fight diseases such as Alzheimer's
Finding the right treatment
Fluidic Analytics began life in a closet – albeit a rather prestigious one at the University of Cambridge. “We started out as a couple of scientists in a closet, inspired by the roles that proteins play in the biological world,” explains chief executive Andrew Lynn, who first met Fluidic’s founder, Professor Tuomas Knowles in 2014.
In these early years, the company consisted of three scientists working together to develop better ways to characterise proteins. “Genetic screening is transforming our understanding of what might happen in our bodies over decades and lifetimes,” adds Andrew. “But our way of characterising proteins has the potential to tell us what is actually happening at any given moment in time. This could be crucial in helping doctors more accurately identify the right treatments for the right patients at the right time.”
The firm believes protein science will be as revolutionary as DNA sequencing in transforming biology.
BGF introduced the firm to Ben Cons, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur, who serves as a non-executive director.BGF Talent Network
In September 2018, the team released Fluidity One: a product which offers researchers a fundamentally new way to analyse proteins. Used by academic researchers and biotech companies around the world, Fluidity One helps scientists understand proteins better, improving their ability to study the molecular mechanisms of conditions like Parkinson’s disease.
It was while showing Fluidity One to some early collaborators researching treatments for Alzheimer’s disease that the team realised there was an even greater opportunity available: one that analysed not just the proteins themselves, but the way proteins interact with other biomolecules too.
“Our newest product is the Fluidity One-W, which can assess protein interactions in much greater detail than with other techniques,” explains Andrew. “It launches officially in November 2019 – but has already been used by our partners to do some eye-catching research that shows how different drugs interact with their targets to treat Alzheimer’s disease.”
BGF's investment has helped Fluidic to...
Triple its workforce to 75 people.
Launch its protein analysis system Fluidity One globally.
Position itself to launch a new product every 12 to 18 months.
Aiming for a listing
To bring Fluidity One-W to market, Fluidic secured a £24 million funding package in November 2018, of which £5 million of growth capital came from BGF. As a result, the company has grown from 25 to 75 people, and is poised to introduce more products.
“We’re now set up nicely to launch a new product every 12 to 18 months into the research tool space, and eventually move into diagnostics,” says Andrew. “Without the financing, we’d have never been able to go after our goal, which is to build a transformational business that’s NASDAQ-listable within three to five years.”
Without the financing, we’d have never been able to go after our goal, which is to build a transformational business that’s NASDAQ listable within three to five years.
Dr Andrew Lynn, chief executive of Fluidic Analytics
Invested by BGF to help the firm grow.
More than just money
Working with BGF has been fantastic, says the entrepreneur. “Tim Rea is absolutely wonderful as the prime contact at BGF, and our BGF-appointed board member, Ben Cons, has been an excellent addition. They’re both really good at being there when we need advice but not getting in the way. It’s a good example of BGF’s contribution being a lot more than just money – it’s the dream mix.”
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