What NVM brought to the party was not only money but just as importantly continued support, powerful non-executive contacts and experience in helping us through the process of delivering value.
DxS was launched in 2001 based on a highly innovative genotyping platform developed by the founders Dr Steve Little and Dr David Whitcombe.
The opportunity arose following the merger of Astra and Zeneca when the founders were given the opportunity to spin out the intellectual property from the diagnostics division in which they worked. Their vision was to create a world-leading diagnostics company to capitalise on anticipated regulation and market trends towards personalised medicine. Their technology helps to predict drug response in individual patients and change the way in which drugs are prescribed as a result.
NVM provided several further funding rounds since its original investment in 2001. However, it all paid off in 2009 following rapid sales growth after DxS launched their first to market with a predictive test (known as a “companion diagnostic’) for a block-buster colorectal cancer therapy. Market interest in DxS immediately became intense and several multinational pharmaceutical companies signed up with DxS to develop further companion diagnostics.
At this point NVM appointed pharmaceutical industry heavyweight Ron Long as Chairman of the Board, who played a pivotal role in delivering the exit. The sale of DxS to QIAGEN NV has enabled the company to consolidate its position as global leader in its field.
Our investment in DxS has been an outstanding success for NVM and its funds. It is a perfect example of the rewards of sticking with a good team in a promising market, of following our investment and having a flexible approach to exit.