Albagaia Focuses on Legionella detection

Albagaia is an environmental technology company with four complementary strands to its business, but the one currently providing the most rapid growth in sales is the detection of Legionella antigen.

Albagaia recently completed a second round of funding from its investors, Equity Gap and the Scottish Co-Investment Fund, which will be largely devoted to building on its growth. Hydrosense, acquired by Albagaia in 2010, is claimed to be the world leader in on –site Legionella testing, and the world’s fastest Legionella test. Albagaia has been building a global distribution network for this business, and is increasing its focus on the USA, where regulations based on ASHRAE standards (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers) will soon come into force. Scottish Development International (SDI) is supporting the globalisation approach with a business support grant. In the UK, the main customers for this test are shipping companies which must meet International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

To support the Hydrosense Legionella test, Albagaia has developed and patented a smartphone based reader, which was introduced to the market this month. The company has also created a water quality database and an iTunes app, specifically targeted at the needs of the dental market – as Legionella is diffused in mists or sprays, the water sprays used by dentists constitute a hazard which must be monitored. The Hydrosense Pro version (comprising an integrated database and reader) and the iPhone version were on show at the giant Medica exhibition in mid November.

Another strand of the Albagaia business has also been making strides recently. Together Albagaia and BBI (part of the Alere group), who manufacture the Hydrosense test and have an international clientele in lateral flow testing (LFT), formed a joint venture company Novarum DX. Lateral flow testing is a technique used for microbiological tests at the point of care in the healthcare market. Novarum DX will develop the Smart phone reader technology for exploitation across the LFT market and beyond into other chemical and biological assays. Albagaia has developed a platform technology and is licensing the IP to Novarum DX. The company is selling development contracts to major companies in the pharmaceutical and drugs related sectors.

Albagaia’s fourth business strand is water treatment technology, which is still being developed although recent success with Hydrosense sales and Novadum means that it is getting a lower focus at present. In early 2012 Albagaia secured £350k in grant support and £235k in equity investment for the development stage of this work, and the implementation started in April. An AO solution has been developed and demonstrated on industrial samples for caustic recovery from phenol contaminated wastes.

Deal Data
Completion: 6 February 2013
Amount: £150k
Investors: Equity Gap, SIB (SCF)