UK investor syndicate sells Sirigen to BD

28 August 2012: Venture capital backed High Sensitivity Fluorescence Business, Sirigen Group Limited, has been acquired by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2004, Sirigen uses Nobel-prize winning science to produce light harvesting polymers which have a wide range of applications in research, medical diagnostics and life sciences.

BD is focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery and production of new drugs and vaccines. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs approximately 29,000 associates in more than 50 countries throughout the world. Sirigen is headquartered at Ringwood, Hampshire, UK with offices in San Diego, California and employs 15 staff across these locations. Sirigen has raised £10.3 million across four rounds of funding since January 2008 from UK venture capital investors Seraphim Capital, Oxford Capital Partners, IQ Capital, Nesta and YFM Equity Partners who are fully realising their holdings and achieving potential returns in the range of 2.5x – 4.0x on their original investment.

Sirigen’s patented High Sensitivity Fluorescence™ (HSF™) technology will enable BD to develop unique dyes and antibody specificity releases over the next two years to significantly expand its life science research reagent portfolio. Sirigen’s light harvesting technology can dramatically boost the sensitivity of fluorescent reagents, making them four to ten times brighter than conventional dyes – a breakthrough in the field.

Nick Kerton, former CEO of Sirigen, commented: “BD and Sirigen have established a strong relationship over the last 6 years and BD’s technical expertise is an excellent match to the highly talented and unique Sirigen Chemistry team. Over the next few years the teams will work to accelerate the development of novel dyes for flow cytometry analysis based on Sirigen’s uniquely tuneable fluorescent chemistry. Our longstanding relationship and complementary teams gives me a great deal of confidence that they will deliver exciting offerings for customers”.

Investors helped shape the business and in 2010 brought on board diagnostic industry veteran David Evans as chairman. David is an entrepreneurial accountant focussed in early stage and high-growth medical diagnostics and life science companies.

Kit Hunter Gordon, Chairman, Seraphim Capital said:

“Seraphim recognised early on that Sirigen’s work with light conducting polymers was potentially a disruptive technology with the potential to dramatically improve performance across a significant part of the $40bn plus diagnostic industry and enable companion diagnostics at the point of care for which existing technologies were insufficiently sensitive. We have worked very closely with the company over the years and brought together a syndicate of supportive investors which have enabled it to commercialise its technology, build strong channel partners and transform the value of the business.”

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Kit Hunter Gordon
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