PharmaDiagnostics Raises $3.7 Million

PharmaDiagnostics NV, a Brussels-based developer of screening technology has raised EUR 2.5 million ($3.7 million) in a second round of funding from Capital-E and an undisclosed group of investors.


PharmaDiagnostics NV, a company developing and marketing a broadly-enabling, label-free screening technology that uniquely does not require specialized equipment, announces today that it has appointed Dr David Ricketts as chief executive officer. The company also announces today that it has raised EUR 2.5 million in a second round of funding.

Ricketts takes charge of PharmaDiagnostics to supervise an ambitious growth program. The company’s localized surface plasmon resonance technology (LSPR) is broadly enabling, with easy to use assay protocols and is applicable to both small molecule and antibody screening and characterization. For the first time label-free screening can be applied in high throughput applications and does not require costly hardware.

Ricketts, 47, DPhil, began his career in Glaxo Group Research, and subsequently held scientific and product sales and marketing positions at British Bio-Technology, Oxford Molecular, and Biosym technologies, becoming VP US sales and marketing for Oxford Molecular in 1994. In 1995 he established Oxford Molecular’s Collaborative Discovery division, and was directly involved in the establishment and growth of spin-out companies Cambridge Combinatorial, Prolysis and Cambridge Drug Discovery. In 2000 he was appointed VP business development at Inpharmatica, and 2003 moved to Maybridge as director, business development. Since 2004, he has acquired wide experience holding a variety of positions as an interim manager and consultant to companies active in drug discovery and life sciences research and development.

“PharmaDiagnostics’ technology platform is elegant and broadly enabling, and addresses an important market need in the field of label free screening,” said Ricketts. “I am looking forward to driving growth of our business and developing new assay products with our excellent existing team, as well as boosting our capabilities with additional senior business and senior scientific staff. The company has great potential and I am committed to ensuring we realize this potential.”

“The addition of David Ricketts as PharmaDiagnostics’ new CEO represents a further step in the growth and professionalism of the company,” said Marc Wachsmuth, partner at Capital-E, lead investor in the company’s funding round. “His experience with a wide variety of life science companies means he will provide valuable guidance and management in many aspects of PharmaDiagnostics’ development.”

About PharmaDiagnostics NV PharmaDiagnostics NV develops label-free screening technology with the unique capability in its market of operating without the need for specialized hardware. The technology is broadly enabling and applicable to a range of applications including: receptor-ligand binding; enzymatic reactions; antibody screening and ADME. The assays are very sensitive and have the potential for very high throughput. The company is focused upon licensing its technology for use in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and also offers bespoke assay development services. In addition the company is seeking collaborations to develop applications in compound screening, particularly fragment screening and antibody screening. PharmaDiagnostics’ novel technology platform is based on localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) and noble metal nanoparticles, and is run on standard laboratory equipment.

The company, based in the Z1 Research Park in Zellik, near Brussels, was founded in 2007. It has raised more than EUR 4.0 million (USD 5.6M) in two rounds of venture funding and EUR 100,000 in grants from IWT (Instituut voor de aanmoediging van innovatie door Wetenschap & Technologie in Vlaanderen), a Flemish innovation agency.