£3.0 million investment for UK company as it brings world’s first portable fingerprint-based drug screening technology to market
Intelligent Fingerprinting, the UK company developing the world’s first portable fingerprint-based drug screening system, has secured a further £3 million of funding from an expanded group of private US and UK investors. The investment will support the early commercialisation of the first drug screening panel, and include manufacturing scale-up and validation of the company’s first products made at its dedicated facility in Cambridge. These products are to be used widely in pilot programmes within the UK and US.
Commenting on the investment, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Chairman Philip Hand said: “2017 is set to be an important year for the business as we transition from running successful pilot projects to bringing our revolutionary technology to the broader market. The first product of its kind in the world, our mobile drug screening system is easy-to-use, non-invasive and works in minutes by analysing sweat from a fingerprint. This latest investment will enable the acceleration of activities across the business, including both our sales and marketing programmes as well as our ongoing FDA approval activities in the USA.”
Intelligent Fingerprinting will operate in three distinct markets sectors: criminal justice, workplace testing and the medical market including drug rehabilitation centres and clinics, subject to regional regulatory approvals. The drug testing market is estimated to be valued at $2.7bn with over 60% of that market residing in the USA. Access to the USA market will be driven by Smartox Inc., Intelligent Fingerprinting’s key distributor.
The company’s innovative fingerprint-based drug screening system consists of novel, single-use cartridges and dedicated portable readers. Together these have the potential to be used anywhere, any time to support a range of applications including drug rehabilitation programmes, tackling drug use in prisons, police initiatives such as roadside testing for drug driving, coroner services, as well as establishing fitness for duty in safety critical workplaces such as the transport and construction industries.
Intelligent Fingerprinting secured initial seed investment in 2009, followed by the first round of funding from the company’s US investors in 2012. Prior to today’s announcement, the company has raised £8.23m of private investment in the past five years, in addition to its original funding of £0.5m.
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About Intelligent Fingerprinting
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s unique fingerprint-based portable Drug Screening System is set to revolutionise the way drug screening is carried out across a range of sectors. The distinctive Intelligent Fingerprinting technology, which works by analysing the sweat from a fingerprint sample, enables non-invasive, cost-effective screening for multiple drug groups in less than 10 minutes.
Intelligent Fingerprinting has attracted worldwide interest in its technology from a wide range of drug-screening markets including the criminal justice arena, drug rehabilitation centres, prisons and occupational health services. The technique has potential for many other uses including healthcare diagnostics and homeland security applications.
The company’s ground-breaking technology detects drug use by analysing chemicals, known as metabolites, contained in the minute traces of sweat found in a fingerprint. (Metabolites are chemicals produced by the body as a result of normal metabolic processes.) The Intelligent Fingerprinting Drug Screening System looks for the presence of specific drugs or drug metabolites in the test subject’s fingerprint sweat sample and, if detected, identifies which drugs have been consumed.
Since 2012 Intelligent Fingerprinting has raised £11.23m in funding from a consortium of private UK and US-based investors, as well as government funding for pilot studies within the UK’s National Health Service and coroners’ services.
Founded in 2007, Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA). The company is based in Cambridge, England and currently employs 26 people.
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