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Sphere Fluidics closes $40m investment round to fund international expansion of Cyto-Mine technology

Sphere Fluidics has closed a $40million (around £30m) investment round to expand its international sales activities.

The Granta Park-based company has developed and is commercialising single cell analysis systems that use its proprietary picodroplet technology.

Dr Frank Craig, CEO of Sphere Fluidics. Picture: Keith Heppell
Dr Frank Craig, CEO of Sphere Fluidics. Picture: Keith Heppell

The investment round was led by Paris-based Sofinnova Partners and San Francisco’s Redmile Group, which co-invested on equal terms.

Andrew Mackintosh, chairman of Sphere Fluidics, said: “This is a transformational investment from two of the most respected specialist investment funds in the industry and a recognition of the untapped potential of the pioneering product and market development carried out by the company to date”.

The company said it would expand in key markets, improve its customer support services and expand its product research and development programs, which will include exploring novel applications for its proprietary Cyto-Mine Single Cell Analysis System.

The Cyto-Mine is described as “an automated cost-effective platform which integrates single cell screening, sorting, dispensing, imaging and clone verification”.

CytoMine from Sphere Fluidics
CytoMine from Sphere Fluidics

It value has also already been clear to an international customer base that includes global pharmaceutical companies, biotech, CDMOs and leading research institutions.

With the ability to process millions of samples per day, it can assess and isolate rare or valuable cell variants or biological products. It offers users the ability to simplify and improve throughput across antibody discovery, cell line development and single cell diagnostics.

The new funding will help broaden the adoption of the technology into innovative research areas such as cell therapy, synthetic biology and genome editing, while enhancing the platform’s capabilities and performance.

Frank Craig, CEO of Sphere Fluidics, said: “This funding round is not only testament to the potential of Sphere Fluidics’ single cell analysis technology, but also to the expertise of our team. The investment will underpin our growth strategy, enabling us to expand both our product range and our support to new and existing customers, globally.”

Sofinnova partner Tom Burt and Redmile Group’s Rob Faulkner join the board.

Sphere Fluidics receives its Covid-delayed Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation. Picture: Keith Heppell
Sphere Fluidics receives its Covid-delayed Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation. Picture: Keith Heppell

Tom said: “We remain impressed by Cyto-Mine’s high-throughput, ease-of-use and accessible cost. In the growing markets of monoclonal antibody discovery, cell line development and cell therapy, we see a significant need for such an affordable and reliable single cell analysis system as Cyto-Mine, capable of performing multiple assays on tens of millions of individual cells per run.”

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