Hibergene Diagnostics Limited
Hibergene develops, manufactures and sells highly accurate molecular diagnostics for the urgent diagnosis of two potentially fatal human infectious diseases: Meningococcal and Group B Streptococcus.
In March 2017 SyndicateRoom members were given the opportunity to invest in a Series B funding round for Hibergene Diagnostics of approximately £5.2m, alongside its lead investor. The company achieved a raise in the region of £5.7m.
Molecular diagnostics is a collection of techniques that detect DNA and diagnose disease, and is considered the driving force behind a number of innovations in healthcare. In 2015 Grand View Research reported that the global market for such diagnostics was estimated to be $6.45bn with a compound annual growth of around 12%.
Infectious diseases like Meningococcal and Group B Streptococcus have devastating consequences and high mortality rates if not diagnosed and treated urgently. Aside from the human cost, hospitals pay a high price for not diagnosing patients on time. Hibergene plan to solve this problem by developing and selling highly accurate molecular diagnostics kits. The company has developed a simple, easy to use and low cost solution comprising a compact, fully portable, reusable instrument and a menu of proprietary single use molecular tests.
Hibergene believes its solution allows for timely and informed clinical decisions to be taken based on highly accurate diagnosis, potentially saving time and money compared to existing alternatives. The business is now raising significant funds to support R&D activities in 2017.
Brendan Farrell is Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Hibergene. With over 30 years’ experience in the diagnostics industry, Brendan has served as the CEO of Hibergene Diagnostics since 2009 and Chairman since 2012. Previously, he was the CEO of two venture capital funded startups, Noctech and Crescent Diagnostics.
September 2017 update
Hibergene have featured in a BBC article focusing on the treatment of meningitis at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, and the use of their rapid "Lamp" (Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification) test on blood, spinal fluid or nasal swab samples for speedy treatment, providing results in under 60 minutes. Read more about the new test.
February 2018 update
Hibergene are developing a new €14m funding round to enable the company to begin direct manufacturing and focus on achieving pivotal FDA approval. Read more on the story.
The lead investor
Lead investor Dr Declan Tiernan is Managing Director and responsible for European and Middle East investment product marketing and client coverage at Oak Hill Advisors, a $30bn alternative credit manager.
Prior to joining Oak Hill Advisors, Declan was Managing Director and Head of Alternative Fund Distribution at UBS Investment Bank. He has been employed in the financial services sector for 19 years and has previously held similar roles at Deutsche Bank and HSBC where he was responsible for marketing structured and alternative credit products to European and Middle Eastern investors. Prior to this, he was Head of Structured Products at National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia.
The Hibergene story is one that makes sense, and in our due-diligence work we had a number of medical professionals tell us that it did address a gap in primary care settings. The long experience of the team on both the technology and business sides were also a factor – including the fact that the principals have successfully exited businesses before.
Dr Declan Tiernan, Hibergene lead investor
What investors say
Jim Shiggins, Head of Wealth Management at Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland, has provided the following testimonial as to why he personally chose to invest in Hibergene and also bring the company in for further investment from Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland:
'I was introduced to Peter Kidney and Brendan Farrell in late 2014. They had outlined to me the tests that were being carried out to help identify Meningitis using Molecular Diagnostics and the fact that it could be transformational in saving lives. Because my father was a Consultant Surgeon I had seen at first hand the trauma of families affected by the disease.
'I therefore championed it, investing both in Round A and B. I subsequently brought the project into Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland and we raised another £3.07m in 2016 of which my own clients invested £1.23m.
'I believe in this project because of the difference it can make to lives and the fact that it has since been broadened to now having tests that can identify Group B Steptococcus and CDificile.
'I am proud that Cantor Fitzgerald are supporters of this project.'
Please note that the company's shares were denominated in Euros and all figures above are at a fixed exchange rate to £GBP. Feel free to contact us if you would like more information.