Fingerprint drug detector among recipients of £2.5m pot of funding


A company using technology to detect drugs in the sweat contained in fingerprints is among 18 small companies awarded funding to develop their scientific ideas.

The £2.5m is part of a total £180m to be handed out through the Biomedical Catalyst project run by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board.

Intelligent Fingerprinting, like the other 17 SMEs, has received around £150,000. Based in Norwich, the business uses high sensitivity detection reagents to identify metabolite substances in the sweat contained in fingerprints.

Also receiving finance is Absynth Biologics, a Sheffield company which is developing technology to be used to develop a vaccine to prevent the hospital acquired infection, MRSA.

The funding was part of several annoucements made by ministers at the British Business Embassy Life Sciences Summit in London, one of several business events running during the London 2012 Olympics.

Also announced was news that the Olympics drug-testing labs will be converted into a permanent research centre after the Games, while £19m will be used to establish four e-health research centres in London, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea. The new centres will enable the UK to make more effective use of electronic health data, a field with huge possibilities for health care delivery and the understanding of disease.

Minister for life sciences David Willetts said: “The UK has one of the world’s largest and most productive life science sectors. We have cutting edge industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and medical technologies. We attract almost 10% of the world’s pharmaceutical R&D funding.
“The Global Business Summit on Life Sciences will introduce some of the world’s most important and influential sector leaders to see what the UK have to offer.
“It will also highlight how UK innovation continues to flourish and how the industry collaborates, to produce world class services, products and individuals.
“I am delighted to be a part of this event, which positions the UK as a firm leader in the world of life sciences.”
You can watch a live video of the summit here.


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