29 Sep 2010   |   News

Horizon raises £6.25M in third round of funding


Horizon Discovery, which specialises in developing genetic tests for use in personalised medicine announced the completion of a £6.25 million financing in a third round led by the European venture capital firm DFJ Esprit.

At the same time Cambridge-based Horizon said Nigel Pitchford, Partner at DFJ Esprit will join its board as Investor Director, and that David Evans, and expert in the diagnostics market will become a non-executive director.

The money will enable Horizon to further improve its core GENESIS and X-MAN technology platforms, address new markets, and begin to target disease areas outside its current focus on cancer.

The third round of financing was also subscribed to by existing investors, the Roche Venture Fund, Jonathan Milner and David Evans.

Pitchford has long experience in investing in healthcare both at DFJ Esprit and previously at 3i where he was responsible for healthcare investments in Europe and the US. He was responsible for leading deals for the UK biotech companies Domantis, Apatech and Arakis, amongst others, and in working with the management teams to create and realise value.

Evans is currently Chairman of Immunodiagnostics Systems and was a member of the team that floated Shield Diagnostics Group plc in 1993, and was the Chief Executive Officer at the time Shield Diagnostics Group plc merged with Axis Biochemicals ASA of Norway in 1999 to create Axis-Shield Plc.

Horizon was formed in 2008 to develop tools for stratified or personalised medicines. Darrin Disley, Executive Chairman said, “Historically, Horizon has adopted a leveraged business model fuelled by modest investment and organic growth. This model has served us well and enabled the company to grow 300 per cent and generate £2.1 million revenues and £8 million in orders in the 12 months to the end of Q3 2010.”

Pitchford said, “Horizon’s unique platform technology presents a great opportunity to grow a substantial multi-faceted life science business. Commercial progress to date has been eye-opening, and we expect that with this investment round the company will accelerate even further.”

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