RUSNANO has invested $4.5 million dollars in a project to expand production of label-free biodetectors and bionanoslides with their American developer, BiOptix Diagnostics, Inc. Two American venture capital funds, Boulder Ventures, Ltd. and Peierls Foundation, and private investors have invested another $4.5 million in authorized capital of BiOptix.
The project, which has a total budget of $19 million, was approved by the Supervisory Council of RUSNANO in December 2010.
The transaction is structured such that RUSNANO invests in the capital of the American company, and BiOptix, over the course of several years, will direct a significant part of the investment toward establishing production in Russia of disposable bionanoslides-glass bases covered with metal and biofunctional nanofilms. A research laboratory will also be established in Russia. Specialists at the laboratory will make further improvements in the technology and develop proposals with scientists from the Bio Nano Physics Research and Education Center of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
BiOptix Diagnostics, Inc. developed its patented biodetection technology with John Hall, a 2005 Nobel Prize laureate in Physics. The instruments incorporating the technology-which work without attaching a florescent or isotope tag to the object being studied-are able to detect not only the presence of a bioreaction but also directly ascertain its kinetic parameters. Measurement of kinetic constants of bimolecular reaction is essential to thorough study of promising molecule-candidates for innovative pharmaceuticals.
The moderate cost to purchase and use BiOptix biodetectors, their compactness, operating and servicing simplicity, and accuracy will enable BiOptix to take a significant share of the rapidly expanding global market in label-free technology for detecting molecular interactions. The products are in demand from laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, universities, and research and development institutes throughout the world. They accelerate the pace and raise the efficiency of innovative drug development.
"We are excited to have RUSNANO as an investor and partner in BiOptix," said Richard Whitcomb, president and CEO of BiOptix Diagnostics, Inc. "RUSNANO's participation in this project will hasten the process of building a successful business and enable us to tap into new markets and resources that were previously inaccessible."
"RUSNANO had cooperated with high-tech companies in the US earlier, but this is our company's first direct investment in an American legal entity. We are proud to be part of such an outstanding innovative history. I think products from BiOptix can open new opportunities for developing promising drugs," RUSNANO managing director Evgeniy Evdokimov remarked.