Altratech raises €5m for molecular detection programme

Funds come from Bank of Ireland’s Kernel Capital Growth Fund and Infinity Capital

Clare company Altratech has raised €5 million, which it said would be used to further develop its "next generation molecular detection" programme.

The latest funds have come from Bank of Ireland’s Kernel Capital Growth Fund and Infinity Capital, which have both invested €1.5 million. Enterprise Ireland has invested €500,000 and Claret Capital is providing a €1.5 million venture debt facility.

Kernel was an early stage investor in the business, putting €650,000 into the venture back in its initial funding round in 2014 alongside Enterprise Ireland.

Altratech was founded by semiconductor specialist Tim Cummins, biotechnologist Brian Farrell and chief executive Dr Tara Dalton.

“Our team of 20 scientist and engineers have been developing our next-generation molecular detection since 2016 and have built an expansive patent portfolio,” said Dr Dalton.

She said “key patents” were granted during 2020 in the US and EU on its “semiconductor capacitive detection, our sample prep and our bead tethering”.

“Seven further patents are pending in China, Japan, Europe and the US, including a patent jointly filed with the National Institute of Health US,” she added.

Patented solution

Denise Sidhu, a partner with Kernel Capital, said: “Altratech is developing the next generation of molecular detection. We need to take molecular diagnostics outside the clinical setting, and current methodologies have significant limitations to achieving this.

“Altratech’s patented solution will be suitable for use by anyone in any environment, delivering superior sensitivity and specificity and compatible with any molecular target.”

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Leo Clancy said the organisation was “delighted to see the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund lead this substantial investment in Altratech”.

“Altratech is a deep research company led by a seasoned team with a strong track record of success,” he said. “Enterprise Ireland is proud to support this cutting-edge health research that has the capacity to make a positive difference globally.”

Donal Duffy, senior director of corporate banking at Bank of Ireland, said Altratech was “led by a seasoned team with a strong track record of success in previous companies also supported by the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Venture Funds”.

Kernel Capital was advised by LK Shields and Altratech by RDJ on the transaction.