Ashtons Legal assist PBD Biotech in securing £2.3m funding

  • Mark Hammond, PBD Biotech CEO

Paul Whittingham from Ashtons Legal has helped PBD Biotech to secure £2.3m in funding for World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) validation of its rapid, accurate TB test.

Actiphage®, is a rapid, accurate test for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) that would enable farmers to effectively remove this devastating disease from their herds. PBD Biotech has secured a £2.3m investment to take Actiphage through to validation by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Full validation will enable international adoption of this novel, patented, diagnostic for mycobacterial diseases, which include human tuberculosis and Johne’s Disease.

Actiphage, has been described as “having the potential to be a game changer in tackling bTB,” by Professor the Lord Trees, head judge for the British Veterinary Association Innovation Award 2021. “Actiphage was a worthy winner,” he said.

The funding has come from a consortium led by fund managers Mercia and the Foresight Group, which were both investing from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund; the University of Nottingham; the government’s Future Fund; and private investors including farmers and veterinary practices.

Mark Hammond, CEO of PBD Biotech, says: “It has been shown on-farm that when Actiphage is used within a disease management strategy it is possible to eliminate bTB from a herd and maintain a disease-free status. There is a significant international unmet need for a diagnostic for bTB and Johne’s Disease; with this funding we will be able to commission the trials needed to fully validate the test and capture this market.”

Actiphage’s use in England and Wales is currently approved by APHA as an unvalidated test for use only in a chronic bTB breakdown. OIE validation would enable Actiphage to be used in parallel with the existing skin test, offering farmers and their vets a method of managing and eliminating the disease for the first time, therefore allowing a OneHealth approach to the eradication of bTB

Ashtons Legal, partner Paul Whittingham said: “I am delighted to have been supporting Mark and the team at PBD Biotech in securing investor funds to progress their TB testing programme. This is an exciting time for all involved and I really look forward to seeing their product come to market after all the hard work which they have done.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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