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  • Andrew Forrest is backing the Sydney biotech startup with a $26 million raise

Andrew Forrest is backing the Sydney biotech startup with a $26 million raise

Sydney biotech company SpeedDx has raised $26 million to expand in the US and ramp up its diagnostic technologies for diseases such as cancer.

Including the increase $5 million from Dr. Andrew Forrest’s new $250 million VC fund Tenmile, which the WA mining billionaire was launched last year with backing from his private investment company, Tattarang. Eexisting investors Platinum International Healthcare Fund and US medical fund Northpond Ventures also participated,

Launched in 2009, SpeedDx moved into deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations, where biotech that reads and interprets genetic information to diagnose diseases. It has offices in London and the US, and distributors across Europe.

The company’s flagship products identify bacteria behind sexually transmitted diseases and also reveal whether there is resistance or susceptibility to antibiotics so doctors can choose the more effective drug treatments.

The company has licensing and collaboration agreements with Roche, GSK, Cepheid, Biocartis and LabCorp. The tests have changed standard clinical guidelines and medical practice in five countries.

During the Covid pandemic, SpeedX evolved technologies to improve the capabilities of standard PCR tests to detect genetic targets specific to a number of common cancers and infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Ask about those products medical diagnostic laboratories during the pandemic has helped the company ramp up its development pipeline.

Colin Denver, CEO of SpeedDx, said the capital raised will help accelerate technology and product development.

“Our team of talented scientists is developing new technologies that promise multiplex PCR capabilities to improve patient diagnosis,” he said.

Dr. Steve Burnell, Tenmile’s executive chairman, said SpeeDx is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the efficiency and productivity benefits offered by its technologies.

“PCR-based diagnostics remains the gold standard and we are excited about Speedx’s multiplexed solutions for large, high-throughput labs looking to take advantage of the expanded capacity generated during the pandemic,” he said.

Dr. Bianca Ogden, Platinum Investment Management’s portfolio director and a SpeedDx executive said the company “is really just getting started” about its global potential.

“Given the pandemic there is now a large installed base of instruments that needs diagnostic testing, we call that menu, and so Speedx essentially has the goods to provide menu expansion for the large incumbents,” she said.

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