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Porton invests in next generation diagnostics business


16th December 2010

The Porton Group has announced today that it has, together with the ICENI Seedcorn Fund, completed a £300,000 investment into Intelligent Fingerprinting Ltd. Intelligent Fingerprinting has developed a unique technology for the simultaneous detection of personal identity and contact with illicit substances from fingerprints.

A spinout company from the University of East Anglia, Intelligent Fingerprinting was founded in 2008 and received initial funding from the Iceni Seedcorn Fund. The company has developed methods to determine whether an individual is using drugs from the sweat deposited in a fingerprint. The fingerprint itself provides positive identification of the individual and sweat analysis shows the presence or otherwise of drugs in the body. The combination of both these factors provides a watertight evidence trail for crime detection.

The technology detects the metabolites and not the drug itself. It is, therefore, impossible for an individual to avoid detection – if hands are washed, a time delay in acquiring the fingerprint will still show the metabolite on the fingerprint when he or she begins to sweat again. Intelligent Fingerprinting is developing reagent kits which use high sensitivity immunoassay technology intended for application in forensic science, roadside policing and homeland security.

The reagent kits can already determine nicotine, cannabis, methadone and cocaine and development work continues for the identification of other illegal substances, individual biomarkers and even explosives.

The biggest issue with current testing methods for illicit substances is mislabelling of blood and urine samples as they are sent away to forensics laboratories for testing and the time taken to get a result. By taking the fingerprints of a suspected user and testing these instead of a blood or urine sample as evidence of drug abuse means that there is no chance for fraudulent swapping of samples or mislabelling.

Terry Swainbank, Investment Director, Synergis Technologies, part of the Porton Capital Group stated ‘This is a very exciting investment opportunity for us and we are looking forward to working with Intelligent Fingerprinting as they develop this next generation in diagnostics technology into a significant commercial success. With the increased movement of population around the world, there is a strong need for a system that can accurately and quickly determine illicit substance abuse in an individual’.

Prof David Russell, CTO and Founder, Intelligent Fingerprinting said ‘By simultaneous detection of personal identity and illicit substances, we are able to offer law enforcement agencies the ability to create personal profiles which are, otherwise unavailable. The ability to perform rapid and non-invasive drug tests on-site not only has application in law enforcement and border control but also institutional testing such as in prisons and where safety-related functions need to be performed’.

Dr Jerry Walker, CEO, Intelligent Fingerprinting added ‘For the first time, fingerprint imaging and drug detection can be done at the same time with Intelligent Fingerprinting’s revolutionary technology. We strongly believe that the Company’s technology is highly robust and sensitive adding versatility and higher quality evidence analysis to crime scene investigations.

- Ends -

For further information on Synergis Technologies Ltd, please contact: Dr Dinali de Silva, Investment Executive Tel: +44 (0) 207 932 0727 Email: dinali.desilva(at)synergistechnologies.com
Web: www.synergistechnologies.com

For further information on Intelligent Fingerprinting Ltd. and all other media enquiries, please contact: Dr Jerry Walker, CEO Tel: + 44 (0) 7723 055903
Email: jerry.walker(at)ntlworld.com Web: www.intelligentfingerprinting.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

Synergis Technologies Ltd. is a privately-owned early-stage investment firm based in London providing seed capital to technology commercialisation ventures principally originating from the UK’s leading public sector research establishments and research- focused universities. Synergis, part of the Porton Capital Group identifies exciting opportunities underpinned by strong IP from spin-out companies to drive commercial exploitation and build strong management teams to execute deliverable market strategies. Synergis seeks to take these opportunities from the laboratory to the marketplace with speed and continuity of capital, generating substantial investment returns by becoming involved very early as a proactive investor and partner. Synergis has established valuable access to this highly prized public research base and is dedicated to finding and funding a compelling pipeline of cutting-edge technologies.

The Iceni Seedcorn Fund LLP was established in 2002 from the Government University Challenge Fund to assist the commercialisation of innovation and technological development within the University of East Anglia, the University of Essex, The John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, The Institute of Food Research and Plant Bioscience Limited.

Intelligent Fingerprinting Ltd.: Intelligent Fingerprinting Ltd, a spin-out of UEA, Norwich, specializes in the simultaneous detection of illicit substances and personal identity. A number of its discoveries have been published in leading chemistry journals. The company is based in Norwich where it has development facilities. Professor David Russell, Founder and CSO, is based at the School of Chemistry, UEA. David has a record of successful commercial outcomes from his research. For more details visit www.intelligentfingerprinting.com


Publisher Contact Information:

Intelligent Fingerprinting
+ 44 (0) 7723 055903
jerry.walker@ntlworld.com

Company profile of Intelligent Fingerprinting
Past press releases of Intelligent Fingerprinting.

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