Novus Diagnostics raises €5m to build next-generation rapid test for Sepsis

Novus Diagnostics CEO-Keith ONeill
Novus Diagnostics CEO- Keith ONeill


  • The Novus test, SepTec, analyses blood samples and diagnoses life-threatening bloodstream infections in just 15 minutes
  • Deal brings to €7.4m the total funds raised by company to date

Irish MedTech firm Novus Diagnostics is today (Monday, November 21) announcing that it has secured €5m in new equity financing. This follows €2.4m in funding from the European Innovation Council in 2020, bringing the total funds raised by the company to €7.4m.

The round was led by Grimpeur Holdings with participation from Enterprise Ireland and the European Innovation Council.

The deal comes as SepTec, the company’s revolutionary new testing platform capable of analysing blood samples and delivering a diagnosis of blood stream infection in just 15 minutes, has delivered promising results in pilot-scale clinical studies at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

The technology, which is small enough to fit on a bedside table, represents something of a game-changer in the diagnosis of a condition that kills around 11 million people around the world every year. The 15-minute wait time is a fraction of the time taken by current diagnostic testing. In addition to the rapid turnaround time, the test can also classify the type of infection the patient has.

Speeding up this process enables clinicians to immediately target treatment to the pathogen causing the infection. Earlier targeted treatment offers the potential to save lives while reducing healthcare costs, antibiotic usage and the length of hospital stays.

The company currently employs 12 staff at its base in Dublin, and will be actively recruiting for a number of new R&D, engineering, quality and regulatory roles in the coming months.

Sepsis – sometimes referred to as blood poisoning or septicaemia — is the body’s extreme immune response to an infection. Failure to diagnose and treat sepsis early enough can lead to septic shock, organ failure and often death.

Other key facts to remember about the condition include:

  1. 1 in every 5 deaths around the world each year are due to Sepsis
  2. Every hour’s delay in delivering effective sepsis treatment increases the risk of death  by nearly 8%
  3. Costs associated with treating sepsis in hospital settings amount to around €7bn annually across the European Union and more than $62bn in the US
  4. Infections acquired in hospital settings account for a significant proportion of the 49 million cases around the world each year
  5. While the majority of people who develop sepsis will recover completely, many suffer from life-changing disabilities, including organ damage, limb loss and shortened lifespans.
  6. Some 2.9 million children die each year due to sepsis.
  7. In 2020, the WHO called for the development of “rapid, affordable and appropriate diagnostic tools” which it said would prevent the majority of sepsis deaths.

Novus Diagnostics is led by lifescience industry veteran, Keith O’Neill, working alongside the co-inventors of the SepTec technology, and co-founders of the company, Elaine Spain (Chief Operating Officer) and Kellie Adamson (Chief Scientific Officer). Trinity Biotech co-founder, Jim Walsh, who also participated in this investment round, serves as the company’s Chairman.

Novus Diagnostics CEO Keith O’Neill says:

“This investment is a major boost for the company and will enable us to expand our team and  dramatically accelerate our development programme. Having the support of such experienced investors provides a significant endorsement of our mission to transform the diagnosis and management of life-threatening infections. We are building a revolutionary device that can detect and classify pathogens in the blood within 15 minutes. This will enable clinicians to provide targeted treatment hours or days earlier than is currently possible. Our focus now is on completing development and validation of the platform so the  life-saving potential of SepTec can be realised in the clinic.”


Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder-Kellie Adamson; CEO-Keith-ONeill; and Chief Operating Officer and co-founder- Elaine Spain
Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder- Kellie Adamson; CEO- Keith-ONeill; and Chief Operating Officer and co-founder- Elaine Spain


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