Direct Investments

The Native Antigen Company launches new e-commerce platform for underserved antigen sector

Following the recent appointment of Steve Powell as CEO and in response to the current underprovision of pure antigens for researchers in vaccine development, diagnostics and academia, The Native Antigen Company (NAC) has developed a convenient e-commerce platform that will facilitate access to its high quality catalogue of native and recombinant antigens.

NAC, divested from the University of Birmingham spinout company Hybrid Systems (now part of Psioxus), an Oxfordshire-based contract service provider specialising in the research, development and scale up manufacturing of high purity viral and bacterial antigens, has launched a sleek and secure e-shop to provide access to its industry-standard antigens to academics and researchers worldwide.

The modern facility provides easy online payment by debit or credit card, as well as detailed information on each product, such as downloadable Safety Data Sheets, and example Certificates of Analysis. This comprehensive offering complements NAC’s traditional distribution method, where products are sold unlabelled to wholesale manufacturers.

The new platform, launched alongside a website and social media channels, complements the company’s sustained growth since it received its first investment from leading technology investor Mercia Fund Management five years ago. During that time, the NAC has managed to build a strong team of scientific talent to provide a vital product line of bacterial, protozoal and viral antigens to what is a largely underserved industry.

In September 2013, NAC announced that it had successfully produced all four Dengue Virus NS1 serotypes from human cell lines. A commercial world first for the industry, this allowed research to be carried out for diagnosis and vaccine development worldwide.

Dengue is a life-threatening virus transmitted by mosquitoes. It is the leading cause of death in the tropics and subtropics, where it is most prevalent, with more than one third of the world’s population at risk. 100 million people are infected with Dengue every year, and there is currently no vaccine. However, the antigens supplied by NAC could expedite the discovery of a vaccination against Dengue, and will greatly improve Dengue diagnostic accuracy.

Nick Roesen, CSO of The Native Antigen Company, said:

“We are excited to launch our new e-commerce platform, which will open up our products to a much wider market, aiding researchers by providing high quality products straight from our manufacturing laboratories.

“Since Mercia first invested five years ago, we have increased turnover and staffing levels five-fold, drawing the best scientific talent as we continue to provide a much needed product line to an underserved industry.”

Mark Payton, CEO at Mercia Technologies, said:

“It is great to see one of the ’emerging stars’ from our Mercia Fund Management portfolio achieve such impressive results over the past five years, and we look forward to supporting the business with its expansion plans.”