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Crescent Diagnostics Secures Euro 1.5 Million ($2.2 million) for its Predictive Test for Osteoporotic Fracture

6/22/2011 11:01:10 AM

Dublin, Ireland: 22nd June 2011… Crescent Diagnostics Ltd, (“Crescent”) a developer of novel tests for predicting osteoporotic fracture risk, today announced that it has raised Euro 1.5 million ($2.2 million) in Series A funding to support the development of BQT®, a predictive test for the disease.

Crescent’s novel test will enable physicians to diagnose the risk of osteoporosis-related fracture both quickly and easily, using a small nail clipping. The BQT® analyser uses Raman spectroscopy to examine the chemical bonds in the toenail. Crescent’s research has shown that the structure and quantity of the chemical bonds in the human toenail is indicative of future hip fracture risk and is independent of bone mineral density (BMD), the standard test today. When BQT® test development is complete, a physician will be able to send a nail clipping to a laboratory for analysis, with results made available to the patient within a matter of days.

More than 60 million women over 50 are at risk of developing osteoporosis in the US alone and under-diagnosis is a major problem with less than a quarter of at-risk women tested. The current gold standard screening method, Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA), is costly, time consuming for patients and only assesses BMD, which is just one of many risk factors contributing to bone fractures. Many patients with acceptable DXA values still suffer fractures and more accurate tests for fracture risk are therefore required.

The funding round was a syndicated deal between AIB Seed Capital Fund co-managed by Enterprise Equity Venture Capital, Bank of Ireland Seed Fund managed by Kernel Capital, and existing venture investor Seroba BioVentures. The funds will be used to run additional clinical trials and to advance BQT® to regulatory approval in both the US and EU.

Ernie Poku, CEO of Crescent, commented: “There is a massive unmet need for more convenient, accurate and affordable fracture testing. The BQT® test is a novel solution with the potential to significantly enhance osteoporosis diagnosis by evaluating completely different risk factors to DXA. This funding will allow us to complete additional clinical trials and bring BQT® to market.”

About Crescent Diagnostics:

Crescent Diagnostics is a diagnostics company which has developed a novel and convenient predictive test for early assessment of hip fracture. The company uses technology developed at the University of Limerick in Ireland, and is working to commercialise the BQT® technology in the US and Europe.

About Enterprise Equity

Enterprise Equity Venture Capital provides venture capital to new and expanding companies throughout Ireland. The company’s objective is to stimulate viable and self-sustaining growth in the private sector through investment in well managed early stage and growth orientated companies across a wide range of sectors of technology, multimedia, wireless, food and medical devices. Established in 1987, Enterprise Equity Venture Capital has, to date, invested €40 million in over 60 companies and now co-manages the AIB Seed Capital Fund of €53 million on a nationwide basis. This fund was established in 2007 and invests in high growth start-ups and early stage companies. The fund’s limited partners are AIB Bank and Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Equity Venture Capital has offices in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Dundalk.

About Kernel Capital

Kernel Capital and its associate Life Science investment firm Seroba Kernel have in excess of €196m under management in six separate Venture Capital funds, investing in ICT, Life Science and general seed and early stage investments. These funds are supported by Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland, University of Limerick Foundation, NUI, Galway and a range of other financial institutions. They have invested in Kernel Capital's portfolio of 51 companies which collectively employ in excess of 800 people and have been granted over 150 scientific patents. Kernel Capital and Seroba Kernel are committed to dynamic, innovative, knowledge based companies and led in excess of €96m in syndicated investment in 2010.

About Seroba Kernel Life Sciences

Managed from its offices in Dublin, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences is a Venture Capital fund management firm that invests in innovative European Life Science companies. Seroba Kernel invests in early-stage start-ups to more mature, development-stage bioscience and medical device companies, typically investing €5m - €7m over the life of each investment. The firm has a portfolio of 17 investments, with some €100m in funds under management. Seroba Kernel is a six-partner team, spread over three locations (Dublin, Oxford and Cambridge). The principals in the firm have strong science credentials and have held senior management positions across the international life science, financial and venture capital industries in Europe and North America.

Kena Hudson


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