Aridhia expands after venture capital boost

Aridhia counts NHS Scotland among its customers. Picture: Greg Macvean
Aridhia counts NHS Scotland among its customers. Picture: Greg Macvean
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VENTURE capital groups Albion Ventures and Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) have injected a “sizeable seven-figure sum” into fast-growing life sciences outfit Aridhia Informatics to fuel its expansion plans.

Aridhia already employs 82 staff in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow and counts NHS Scotland and the Ministry of Health of Kuwait among its customers.

The company has developed software that is used by doctors to manage the treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

The firm’s programmes are also being used to help prepare the health service for “personalised medicine”, which will involve treating individual patients based on their genes by selecting the medicines to which their bodies will best respond.

Andrew Elder, head of healthcare at Albion Ventures, said: “We have invested in the healthcare IT space for several years and Aridhia represents one of the best opportunities we have seen to date in the sector.”

In April, Albion Venture took part in a £7.4 million fundraising for Livingston-based device maker Dysis Medical. The venture capital firm typically invests between £1m and £10m.

Aridhia was launched in 2008 by chief executive David Sibbald and Professor Andrew Morris, dean of medicine at Dundee University.

Sibbald, right, told The Scotsman: “Aridhia is an exciting company because it brings together clinicians, academics and technology experts. We felt that now is the right time to bring on board more

equity to fund our expansion into new markets.

“We aren’t concentrating on an exit strategy for our investors at present, whether that be a trade sale or a stock market listing. Both Albion and SEP are in this for the long term.”

Scott Johnstone, chief executive of the Scottish Lifesciences Association (SLA), added: “This investment in Aridhia is great news for the company and the life sciences sector, which is growing strongly in Scotland.

“In future, much of that growth will depend on companies having good access to health data for research and clinical purposes. Aridhia is well positioned to meet these needs as a major player in the digital health sector in Scotland. That sector is expected to grow exponentially in the next decade.”

News of the Aridhia deal comes as Dennis Purcell, senior managing director at New York-based Aisling Capital, prepares to deliver a keynote speech tonight at the SLA’s annual dinner in Edinburgh.

Purcell is understood to be holding meetings with senior figures in Scotland’s investment community during his trip.

• Shares in Aortech, the former Glasgow life sciences firm now based in Utah, jumped today after the company settled a legal dispute with United States-based artificial heart maker SynCardia.

Aortech, which is still listed on the Alternative Investment Market, said that the deal would not effect its balance sheet.