Mercia Asset Management PLC, one of the UK’s most active providers of investment to regional SMEs, has announced that its managed funds portfolio company, Abingdon Health (“Abingdon”), has successfully raised £22million following its admission to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange earlier today.
Abingdon is a lateral flow diagnostics company providing contract service solutions to a global client base in the healthcare sector and other industries. Services offered by the Company to its clients including product development, regulatory support, technology transfer and commercial manufacturing. The Company has developed and is manufacturing the AbC-19TM Rapid Test, an antibody test for COVID-19 indicating whether a person is generating IgG antibodies to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The Company is also working with other customers to transfer their COVID-19 antigen tests to manufacture, and is manufacturing a component of a rapid PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. The Company also produces lateral flow tests covering non-COVID-19 applications in areas such as self-test HIV, equine infection, human fertility, blood cancer and other infectious diseases across the healthcare sector as well as other areas such as fuel contamination in the aviation sector and testing for water contaminants.
Abingdon Health was first backed by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (“NPIF”) in 2019 and has received investment of £2.1million from NPIF alongside other investors which was used to develop the company’s propriety technology, fund the acquisition of a new lateral flow manufacturing facility, help expand the senior leadership team and develop the Board through the appointment of several high profile non-executive directors.
Chris Yates, CEO of Abingdon Health said: “We are pleased to have achieved this important milestone and to be making our debut on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange today. The money raised will, amongst other things, enable us to scale up our manufacturing in order to meet the demand for our AbC-19TM rapid lateral-flow test and allow us to further establish our global commercial and operational footprint in broader areas including infectious disease, fertility, cancer markers, animal health, plant pathogen and environmental testing. I would like to thank Mercia and NPIF for their support and we are looking forward to this next exciting chapter in Abingdon Heath’s development.”
Mark Wyatt, Investment Director for Mercia said: “Abingdon is a good example of the sort of business that NPIF is looking to support. It is great to see Abingdon showcasing the strong research and development and manufacturing capabilities available in the North of England. The business is creating high-value life science jobs off the back of delivering products of significant relevance to multiple different markets, including human and animal health and other industrial sectors. It has been a pleasure working with the experienced team and seeing them delivering on a very focused and ambitious business proposition. We are delighted that the future potential of the company is being supported by the wider investment community and we look forward to watching Abingdon flourish during its next phase of growth.”
Ken Cooper, MD of the British Business Bank said “With £500m of funding to back ambitious companies across the North, NPIF is committed to supporting companies like Abingdon Health on their growth journey. This is an excellent example of an NPIF investee business growing in value, while driving innovation and employment opportunities in the region. The company’s AIM listing is a vote of confidence in its future growth plans and we wish Chris and the team every success in the future.”
The Northern Powerhouse 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.