Queen's University spin-off secures £500,000 investment

Belfast-based Causeway Sensors makes nano-sized chips used to detect diseases

Jayne Brady, partner at Kernel with  Bob Pollard, chief executive of  Causeway Sensors, a spin-off company from Queen’s University Belfast  set up by   Pollard –  along with  Robert Bowman and John Nelson –  which has developed nano-sized sensing chips   used to detect early-stage cancer

Jayne Brady, partner at Kernel with Bob Pollard, chief executive of Causeway Sensors, a spin-off company from Queen’s University Belfast set up by Pollard – along with Robert Bowman and John Nelson – which has developed nano-sized sensing chips used to detect early-stage cancer

 

A Belfast diagnostics company has secured a £500,000 investment from Kernel Capital.

Causeway Sensors has developed nano-sized sensing chips that can be used to detect early-stage cancer and other diseases due to its ability to sense the presence of very low levels of proteins and fluctuations in their behaviour.

The technology also has uses in food security and drug discovery.

Causeway, a spin-off company from Queen’s University Belfast, was founded by Robert Pollard, Robert Bowman and John Nelson – all Queen’s academics – and at this point is the result of more than a decade of research.

Hugh Cormican, the founder of specialist camera group Andor Technologies which was also spun out of Queen’s before becoming a listed company, was an early angel investor and a director of the business.

Causeway is targeting a share of the fast-growing market for bio-sensors, which is expected to be worth over $22 billion globally by 2020. The company is looking initially at focusing on the area of medical diagnostics.

Confidence boost

“This investment is a great confidence boost for Causeway Sensors and will allow us to expedite our growth plans to commercialise and scale our technology,” said Dr Pollard, who is chief executive of the fledgling business.

He said he was delighted with the latest investment which comes from Bank of Ireland’s £15 million Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI) which aims to accelerate growth at high potential start-up businesses in the North.

Jayne Brady, a partner at Kernel who joins the board of Causeway in this funding round, said it was great to see another Queen’s spin-out “thriving”. She said the investment would allow Causeway to develop the potential of its technology as well as delivering jobs and growth for the local economy.