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28 April 2015

Case study 2

Funding boost for bacterial investigations company

Perfectus

It has been estimated that as many as 80 per cent of microbial infections, both medical and environmental, are a result of 'biofilm' encased microorganisms. These biofilms (multiple types of bacteria) can be problematic and difficult to treat and control in healthcare environments such as chronic wounds, catheters and medical devices. As a result, there is a large number of products available for the treatment and control of biofilms within these sectors - from antimicrobial wound dressings to catheters and even in everyday toothpastes, mouthwashes and bleaches.

Established in 2013, Perfectus Biomed is a business which offers microbiological testing of antimicrobial products. The business, founded by Dr Samantha Westgate, offers testing in six key areas including wound care, medical devices, surface antimicrobials, contact lenses, dentistry and water treatment.

Explaining this, Dr Westgate, CEO at Perfectus Biomed, said:

"Our clients come to us with an antimicrobial product, say a wound dressing, and our team of scientists carry out customised testing to see how effective it is at treating multiple types of bacteria. It is an experiment designed to mimic the 'real world' scenario. We then feed this data back to our client so they can use it in their own research and development or to see how they fare against competitors."

Perfectus Biomed, based in lab space at Sci-Tech Daresbury, works with clients across the globe ranging from large multinationals to SMEs. "What makes our service a quality one is that we model how multiple bacteria exist together in real life," added Dr Westgate, a phD graduate in microbiology and biofilmology. "Microbiological laboratories typically focus on testing planktonic bacteria but in reality, bacteria are particularly problematic when they produce a polymicrobial biofilm."

In 2013, Perfectus Biomed received a £100,000 investment - a combination of funding from The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact (£50,000) and the Rainbow Seed Fund, managed by Midven (£50,000). Two years later, the business received a further £200,000 - £100,000 from The North West Fund for Biomedical and another £100,000 from the Rainbow Seed Fund.

"The investment has been absolutely instrumental in allowing our business to expand," said Dr Westgate. "It allowed us to take on more staff, to work on bigger projects and also focus on sales and really penetrate the market sectors."

Having a solid business plan in place has also helped the company to gain its ISO 9001 as a customised microbiology laboratory and it is working towards ISO 17025. Dr Westgate continued: "We really enjoy working with The North West Fund for Biomedical they have been very supportive and offer great advice to drive the continued high growth that we have seen to date."

Perfectus Biomed has recorded increased annual turnover between 30 and 50 per cent year on year and plans to continue this level of business growth. They have built up a steady and reliable number of clients mainly in the UK, EU and US and want to continue to develop their specialist knowledge in microbiology and biofilmology.

David Grimm, investment manager at SPARK Impact said:

"Perfectus Biomed consists of an outstanding and hardworking team who are absolute experts in the field of microbiology. Their passion, enthusiasm and in depth knowledge of the industry has always shone through and they have evolved into a thriving business with a trusted client base. Perfectus Biomed has built up a strong reputation for offering bespoke antimicrobial testing with the overarching goal to fight against bacteria globally and reduce instances of disease and illness. We're incredibly proud to see how far they have come and how much the funding has boosted them as a business." 

 

 


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