£1.5m NPIF cash for expanding York diagnostics company

£1.5m NPIF cash for expanding York diagnostics company
(L-R) Jonny Sharp, Chris Yates, Dr Chris Hand & Mark Wilcockson (credit: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com)

£1.5 million Northern Powerhouse funding is allowing a Yorkshire diagnostics company to fulfil new contract wins and invest in new equipment and processes at its York HQ.

Abingdon Health specialises in ‘point of care’ tests, to diagnose disease in humans, animals and plants and to measure drugs, hormones and other biomarkers in a range of sample types.

Similar to a pregnancy test, these single use devices allow testing to be carried out on site, in the field or at home and the results are easy to interpret by eye or using smartphone apps and reader devices.

Point of care tests allow more rapid diagnosis and monitoring than traditional laboratory tests.

Abingdon develops and manufactures tests for clients worldwide in the healthcare, veterinary, food and agriculture sectors, with over 50% of its output going to export markets.

Founded by CEO Chris Yates and Chairman Dr Chris Hand, the company employs around 40 people at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus in York and also has laboratories in Birmingham.

A series of acquisitions in recent years have extended its capabilities and in addition to providing test development services and high-volume contract manufacturing, it offers its own range of tests, reader devices and other products.

Now the funding from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, will help scale the business up.

“This NPIF funding will support Abington Health to invest in both new equipment and premises, to further develop its unique product offering and worldwide client base,” said Mark Wilcockson, Senior Manager at Sheffield’s British Business Bank.

David Dickson, Chair of the Infrastructure Board for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s fantastic to see NPIF funding generating significant innovation in bio and health technology right here on our patch.

“Having Abington Health and their rapid diagnostic testing facility at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus is a significant win for our rural economy, seeing the benefits of globally recognised expertise, home grown and available for the region’s food and farming industry.”

Chris Yates, CEO of Abingdon, said: “This funding will help us move towards our vision of being a leading innovator in the sector.”

Mark Wyatt and Jonathan Sharp from Mercia Fund Managers worked on the investment.

Mr Sharp, Investment Manager, said: “Rapid diagnostic testing is a fast-growing global market. Abingdon Health has positioned itself as an expert in the field, with a full range of products and services.

“The investment will help it to manage its growing order book and take advantage of opportunities worldwide.”