£1.5m from existing investors

Livestock disease testing firm raises further funding

John McNicol and Alan Hale

Farm support: John McNicol and Alan Hale


Investors are backing pioneering Scottish technology which can minimise the devastating effects of infectious diseases in livestock.

Edinburgh-based Biotangents is ready to launch products that can speed up diagnosis, saving animal lives and reducing farm losses.

The technology provides same-day results for vets who normally face a delay of up to seven days, thereby allowing farms to isolate infected animals more quickly.

Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank have provided £1.5 million in second round funding for the firm, based at the Pentlands Science Park. Kelvin helped the firm raise more than £1m of seed funding in 2017.

Alan Hale, chief executive at Biotangents, said: “The global medical diagnostics market is vast and presents a range of opportunities for us to become a global leader in the engineering of biology to produce fast, sensitive, reliable and easy-to-use diagnostic products. 

“We already know that our diagnostic platform technology can have a real impact on identifying infectious diseases, quickly, in animals and that our patent pending design can be adapted for use in many other products and applications. 

“Our focus right now is on addressing the diagnostics of Bovine viral diarrhoea – a highly contagious viral disease of cattle.  The financial costs alone of failing to diagnose that disease early can cost farmers up to £470 per animal, and it is responsible for £61m of losses each year in the UK alone.  If we can successfully roll out our test internationally then we can realise an enormous market opportunity.” 

John McNicol, director at Kelvin Capital, said: “The diagnostics market for livestock infectious diseases is growing due to increasing awareness of the impact that disease outbreaks can have on food security and public health.  We need only look back to the £8bn cost of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak to highlight the enormous cost that infectious diseases can have.”

He said Biotangents is bringing rapid improvements to livestock care, leading to public health improvements, and also disrupting a traditional industry.

Scottish Investment Bank Director, Kerry Sharp, added: “Having supported Biotangents at seed stage in 2017, it’s great to see it securing the funds required to implement its business plan.”


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