TCD Campus Company BioCroí Receives €800,000 Funding

Posted on: 21 October 2011

A TCD campus company, BioCroi Ltd, founded by Dr Tony Davies of the School of Medicine and the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, recently received €800,000 in seed investment from the MedTech Accelerator Fund managed by Kernel Capital, including €300,000 from Enterprise Ireland and private investors.

BioCroi was founded as a TCD spin-out in 2009 based on technology developed by Dr Davies’ team who partnered with entrepreneur Peadar MacGabhann. The company is focussed on developing a range of unique multi-well microplates for use in the high content screening of cells in advanced drug discovery research and development.  The miniaturised microplates are integrated with gel-based buffering systems which provide better control of the microplate environment compared to conventional systems.

BioCroi currently has five employees based in commercial laboratory space at the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences at St James’s Hospital.

Peadar MacGabhann, Tony Davies, Gordon Elliott.

Commenting on the funding, Professor Dermot Kelleher, Vice Provost for Medical Affairs at Trinity College Dublin said: “We are encouraged by Kernel Capital’s investment in BioCroi which provides vital resources to move this TCD innovation along the development roadway towards a most valuable product for the new medicine development globally.  This is a further endorsement of the value of the translational science efforts at Trinity and in particular the research at the School of Medicine’s Institute for Molecular Medicine at St James’s Hospital.”

Dr Gordon Elliott Case Manager for Translational Science at Trinity’s Technology Transfer Office who negotiated the spin-out and license on behalf of Trinity College said: “This is a particularly satisfying outcome for us given that Tony and Peadar first met at a technology showcase event organised by the Technology Transfer Office at the Science Gallery back in March 2009.  Subsequently we introduced Dr Chris Wright to the team who is now acting as chairman. Further significant support came from Pat Whyte of Irish Micro Mouldings who provided prototype devices during the proof of concept stage.  It demonstrates the importance of building a team and it is to Tony’s credit that he achieved this aspect as well as being the primary inventor of the core technology.”

The European drug discovery market was worth €12 billion in 2007. There are significant opportunities for Irish companies to participate further in that market.