Tech investment fuels fight against antibiotic resistance

Jayne Brady, partner, Kernel Capital with Dr. Bob Pollard, Causeway Sensors CEO, William McCulla, director corporate finance at Invest NI and Odhran McNeilly, business advisor with Bank of Ireland UK
Jayne Brady, partner, Kernel Capital with Dr. Bob Pollard, Causeway Sensors CEO, William McCulla, director corporate finance at Invest NI and Odhran McNeilly, business advisor with Bank of Ireland UK

A tech business working in the filed of antibiotic resistance is to benefit from investment totalling £1.5 million.

Queen’s University spinout firm Causeway Sensors has raised £1.2m from the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund in syndication with QUBIS and private investors.

The business has also availed of Invest NI R&D support and further funding was secured from Innovate UK as develops a solution to the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

The problem is said by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be at dangerously high levels and is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development.

The Company has developed a novel method of distinguishing between a viral and bacterial infection in a real-time point-of-care setting, enabling a reduction in the ineffective use of antibiotics for viral infections.

“We are delighted to receive this funding,” said Causeway Sensors CEO Dr Bob Pollard.

“Causeway Sensors recently took a strategic decision to focus its ground breaking technology on applications in the medical diagnostics market.

“This investment validates this new strategy and we look forward to growing our team, developing the technology and exploring new market opportunities.”

Invest NI director of corporate finance, William McCulla said the firm was an example of an ambitious company which has used a range of Invest NI support to help it develop its pioneering technology which is now targeting at the global biosensor industry.

“The Development Funds, one of which is managed by Kernel Capital, were specifically designed to help businesses like Causeway Sensors which have the potential to grow in global markets and scale quickly.

“This latest investment demonstrates how important these funds are.”

Gavin Kennedy, head of business banking NI at Bank of Ireland UK said: “Supporting the growth of local innovative companies and start-ups is a key priority for Bank of Ireland and we look forward to working with the team over the coming years.”

Jayne Brady, partner at Kernel Capital, said: “Causeway’s applied research builds on Northern Ireland’s world class leadership in this domain, and they now have the capability to meet a global need in delivering an innovative and efficient point of care system.”